Covering for Dave

Pals of David Letterman — Regis Philbin, Paul Shaffer and Charles Grodin — will begin sitting in for the talk show host tonight on “Late Show.” Not that they will be usurping Dave’s spot behind the desk. Instead, they will be interviewing the likes of Julia Roberts, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Willis, Danny DeVito, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin and Sarah Jessica Parker with new segments that will be shown along with memorable past interviews the stars did with Letterman. (These new interviews will be shot without a studio audience or band.) The move is seen as a way to generate buzz about the show during this important ratings sweeps period while Dave recuperates — in the Caribbean, according to The New York Times — from the quintuple heart bypass he had last month. Meanwhile, the show’s executive producer, Rob Burnett, called previous reports about Dave’s Valentine’s Day return to the program “a little overstated.”

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