James Corden will leave his hosting gig on The Late Late Show next year

James Corden has decided that his role of host of The Late Late Show will soon come to an end. It’s surprising, isn’t it? Corden actually became sort of a late-night establishment over the course of seven years. He debuted as host of The Late Late Show in March 2015. He will end this gig in the spring of 2023. CBS was apparently desperate to keep him – while Corden is seen as generally uncool and annoying to the TV intelligentsia-commentary community, Corden revitalized The Late Late Show and understood the value of making easily digestible viral clips for YouTube. He was massively profitable for CBS, basically. This Deadline story was fascinating:

James Corden is preparing to say his goodbyes to The Late Late Show. The Brit has extended his contract for the CBS late-night series for one year and will depart ahead of summer 2023. Corden will have hosted The Late Late Show for eight and a half years by the time he departs – a major achievement.

“It’s been it’s a really hard decision to leave because I’m so immensely proud of the show,” Corden told Deadline. “I’m thrilled to be extending [for a year]. I always thought I’d do it for five years and then leave, and then I stayed on. I’ve really been thinking about it for a long time, thinking whether there might be one more adventure.”

Hhe reinvigorated the 12:30 a.m. time slot on CBS and breathed new life into late-night with viral segments such as Carpool Karaoke, Drop the Mic, Spill Your Guts and Crosswalk Musical. In fact, Corden’s Carpool Karaoke with Adele has been watched more than 250M times on YouTube, while his journey with One Direction has racked up 189M views. The Late Late Show YouTube page itself has had nearly 10B views and has more than 27M subscribers, the second highest in late-night.

CBS chiefs — including President and CEO George Cheeks, CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl, SEVP Programming Thom Sherman, CBS Studios boss David Stapf and Nick Bernstein, SVP, Late-Night Programming, West Coast — were keen to keep Corden and offered a variety of deals including a three-year extension, a two-year extension and a rolling one-year deal before he made his decision. “My bosses here at CBS have been incredibly supportive and extraordinarily patient with me while I made this decision,” Corden added.

There’s been much speculation during the past few years about whether Corden would exit The Late Late Show and return to the UK. But Corden told Deadline that he and his family “genuinely don’t know the answer to that. It’s something we think about and we talk about a lot, but we haven’t really made a decision on that yet. That’s the life side of things which we’ll figure out. I love living here. I love everything it’s given. My family and I have never taken this incredible adventure for granted. Every day I drive down Sunset to work and I just think I’m from High Wycombe.”

[From Deadline]

It sounds like CBS was fully prepared to offer Corden any deal and any amount of money to keep him around for a lot longer. I remember there were rumors for a while that CBS wanted to switch around late-night hosts and have Corden as host of The Late Show instead of Stephen Colbert. Deadline also mentions the fact that Corden, unlike most late-night hosts, has like ten other careers and plenty of career opportunities with all of his various side-gigs. He kept acting throughout his late-night job, he kept getting one-off jobs like “hosting the Friends reunion” and he’s a partner in a major production company, Fulwell 73. Corden also told Deadline that he’s ready to explore some other stuff, like writing and getting out of his comfort zone. It strikes me that Corden might be burned out a bit? I doubt that there’s some huge scandal behind this.

Photos courtesy of Instar.

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