It’s been a little over a month since we learned that James Corden will be leaving CBS’s The Late Late Show next summer, nearly nine years after he brought his “British Jimmy Fallon” energy to the late-night scene, forcing us to recognize the dark future where we will no longer be able to lob lazy jokes (like “British Jimmy Fallon”) at the easy target that is James Corden. We’re very broken up about it over here.
Anyway, Variety has an interesting scoop on how the search for a replacement is going… or, perhaps, several replacements. According to “three people familiar with the matter,” CBS is considering replacing Corden’s show with a “multi-host panel” of some sort as an attempt to shake-up the talk show format in a world where “viewers sample the best of the programs via social media rather than watching them in their wee-hours’ time.”
Variety doesn’t know what this panel show might look like, though it cites Politically Incorrect, Chelsea Lately, and @midnight as other examples of the form (but maybe let’s not do anything like those, CBS?). It’s also worth noting that Corden is a British person, and panel shows are much more common on British TV than they are here, so there would be some thematic continuity if CBS goes forward with this plan. Maybe they can get a bunch of people from British panel shows to host? American TV hasn’t seen Jimmy Carr in a while, just have him do a Zoom call in between the various British panel shows he hosts.
For now, though, Variety notes that the network’s discussions are “in early stages” and that executives are “mulling a wide range of ideas and potential personalities.” So it might not end up being a panel show, and even if it’s a traditional format, it might not have regular stuff like a live band. Basically, James Corden has so thoroughly owned the concept of a late-night show that the only way to move forward is to try a different approach.