James Corden Says He’ll Be Leaving His CBS Show Next Year
James Corden, the British stage actor and comedian turned late-night TV host in the United States, said on Thursday he would be quitting his 12:30 a.m. nighttime show on CBS next year. Mr. Corden made the announcement during a taping of his talk show in Los Angeles, a network spokesperson said.
Mr. Corden, the host of “The Late Late Show” since 2015, has been reporting for some time that he was strongly considering leaving the show.
Five months ago, Mr Corden told Variety that he had never seen his late-night perch as “an end destination”. In an earlier interview with The Sun, Mr Corden said he and his family were “homesick”.
Mr. Corden’s contract was set to expire in August, but he signed an extension that will keep him on CBS until next spring.
“We wish he could stay longer, but we are very proud that he has made CBS his American home and that this partnership extends one more season on ‘The Late Late Show,'” said George Cheeks, President from CBS, in a statement.
Mr. Corden’s impending departure is one of the biggest changes to late-night comedy programming since 2014 and 2015, when veteran hosts like David Letterman, Jay Leno and Jon Stewart quit their shows, and a new generation of stars, including Mr. Corden, Comedy Central‘s Trevor Noah and HBO’s John Oliver, aired.
There is a sense of late-night uncertainty beyond Mr. Corden’s departure. Jimmy Kimmel, the longtime ABC host, has a contract that will end soon and has publicly stated that he is not sure if he will renew it. Stephen Colbert, whose show precedes Mr. Corden’s on CBS, also has a contract that expires next year. Chris Licht, longtime executive producer of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” left last month to become president of CNN. And Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” recently underwent another showrunner change, the fourth in four years.
The entertainment industry is questioning the long-term viability of the late-night talk show genre. Over the past few years, as viewing habits have rapidly changed, the ratings for shows have plummeted. Five years ago, about 2.8 million people watched Mr. Corden’s show as well as NBC’s 12:30 p.m. show, “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” By 2022, that number had dropped to around 1.9 million, according to delayed viewing data from Nielsen.
Talk shows — which rely on relevant news and audiences making it a daily habit to tune in — have also not fared well on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
Mr. Corden came into the late-night fray in force when his show debuted in 2015. Mr. Corden, who had a successful theatrical career but was still relatively unknown in the United States, became a star of the day to day. His show’s signature “Carpool Karaoke” featured him singing along with stars like Lady Gaga, Michelle Obama and Adele, and clips regularly went viral.
“Seven years ago, James Corden came to the United States and took television by storm, with huge creative and comedic swings that resonated deeply with viewers on-air and online,” said Mr Cheeks.
But Mr Corden’s brand of comedy – focused on games and musical sketches – quickly found itself out of step with the times.
The landscape changed dramatically after Donald J. Trump entered the White House. Late-night audiences began to devour biting political humor. Weeks after Mr. Trump’s inauguration, Mr. Fallon’s fun and playful approach to “The Tonight Show” plummeted in the ratings, and Mr. Colbert became the late-night host. No. 1, thanks to its more current approach. He’s held that lead for more than five years. Like Mr. Fallon, Mr. Corden preferred a lighter show.
Mr. Corden has put his late-night perch to good use in other high-profile endeavors, including hosting the Tony Awards and the Grammy Awards. He also appeared in several films, including critically ravenous “Cinderella” and “Cats.”