James Corden’s departure from ‘The Late Late Show’ leaves room for diversity

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Viacom CBS Press Express

Jahlil Rush

After 1,000 episodes, endless laughs and memorable “Carpool Karaoke” segments, longtime talk show host James Corden announced that 2023 will be his last year at CBS “The Late Late Show.”

Corden spoke on his recent announcement, calling his talk show tenure an adventure and not a “final destination.”

“When I started this journey, it was always going to be just that. It was going to be a journey, an adventure. I never saw it as my final destination, you know?” Corden said. “And I never want this show to overstay its welcome in any way. I always want to love making it.”

He did not give insight into what his next career move would be. Corden is best known for his work on the United Kingdom television series “Gavin and Stacey.”

According to a report from Deadline, the heads at CBS including President and CEO George Cheeks, CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl and CBS Studios boss David Stapf and Nick Bernstein, the SVP of Late-Night Programming West Coast were eager to hold on to Corden as host.

“From Crosswalk the Musical to the legendary Carpool Karaoke, and every unique comedy segment he introduced, James has truly reimagined many elements of the late night format. He has also been the consummate network showman, entertaining audiences from his nightly perch at Television City as well as the Tony and Grammy stage,” Cheeks said.

They went as far as offering him a diverse selection of deals, including a three-year extension, a two-year extension and a rolling one-year deal before his final decision to leave became permanent.

“My bosses here at CBS have been incredibly supportive and extraordinarily patient with me while I made this decision,” Corden said.

Since taking over as host of the late-night CBS platform, Corden has achieved household-name status. He has starred in films such as “Peter Rabbit,” “Cats” and “The Prom,” a film that gave him his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.

He hosted HBO Max’s “Friends: The Reunion.” Corden is also a partner in Fulwell 73, a production company that is producing Hulu’s “The Kardashians.”

Speculation about who can replace Corden began on social media and many are calling for a more diverse host to take over the show.

Although late-night shows seem to be on the road to diversity with hosts like Samantha Bee and Lilly Singh, who took over for Carson Daly in September 2019, late-night television is still relatively a “boys club.”

Comedic names who were thrown into the ring include Latina comedian Cristela Alonzo, who spoke to NPR about the increased call for diversity in late-night television.

“It’s kind of exhausting that we’re in 2022 and we still have firsts,” Alonzo said. “When you’re a person of color…you’re forced to watch all of this programming, you have to find a way to connect with programming that really isn’t meant for you.”

“I really think now there’s going to be a bona fide chance for someone that isn’t white. I think we’re long overdue and people understand that we’re long overdue. Because that’s what changes late night.”

Corden hosted the late-night talk show for eight and half years. The British host signed his contract in 2014 and his tenure as host began on March 23, 2015.