The curtains will rise on The Late Late Show with James Corden tonight, March 23rd, and the show will originate from the iconic CBS Television City in Hollywood, a location that has housed hundreds of shows, from The Twilight Zone and The Jack Benny Program, all the way to The Price Is Right.
It’s a new kind of project in an entirely new country for James Corden, who will be the fourth permanent host of the later CBS program. Earlier this month, Collider spoke with the show’s Executive Producers, Rob Crabbe and Ben Winston, for additional things to know and expect from James Corden’s show.
The plan is for guests to all come out at the same time, which is a routine that has been popularized overseas, with shows like The Graham Norton Show. Some classic American late night shows have done that as well, so that by the end of the night, there would be a raucous and fun couch. The goal is to make it like that throughout the entire show.
- Executive Producer Rob Crabbe came to Corden’s show from The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, where he was a supervising producer. He was also a segment producer for three years when Fallon hosted Late Night.
- The show’s other Executive Producer, Ben Winston, has collaborated with James Corden for 15 years. He describes taking on the show as “a fresh new challenge for us.”
- In the United Kingdom, James Corden is a well-known A-lister, where people who would see his shows would know what to expect, while here in the U.S., he’s more of an unknown quantity. The producers have had fun with this anonymity, sending Corden to the nearby Grove shopping center to ask potential viewers what they think of the new Late Late Show host – not realizing that the man is right in front of them, doing the asking.
The first guests for The Late Late Show on March 23rd will be Tom Hanks and Mila Kunis. Crabbe refers to Hanks as “the single greatest talk show guest in the world.” Other early visitors to the show will include Chris Pine, Patricia Arquette, Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart.
- The new set of The Late Late Show with James Corden will have a bar, which could serve as extra seats for guests or the audience. At the time of the interview, the producers were still figuring out things to do with it.
- The producers hope for The Late Late Show recurring sketches. “We will put things on television, and if the audience likes them, they’ll come back again,” Crabbe says.
- A few weeks ago, Corden made a surprise cameo on The Late Late Show, in a bit that was guest host Judd Apatow’s idea. In that night’s show, James walked out during the monologue, so he could take notes on “what not to do in a late night show.”
- Executive Producer Rob Crabbe is a self-described “student of late night,” who began watching David Letterman’s Late Night at a very young age, before watching Conan O’Brien in college. Ultimately, he became a fan of everything, even staying up late specifically to see Johnny Carson’s last two weeks as the host of The Tonight Show. Fellow Executive Producer Ben Winston, having grown up in the U.K., was a fan of a “high-energy show” called TFI Friday. The show was hosted by Chris Evans (not the Captain America actor) and included things like throwing television sets out of windows to see what smashed the best. Both producers hope to bring high energy to Corden’s show.
The producers also enjoyed how you could see “behind the curtain” on The Muppet Show, and it sounds as though that will also be an inspiration.
- It is important to both of the producers and Corden that CBS Television City is an iconic place that people can recognize, in a similar way to how audiences associate Rockefeller Center and the Ed Sullivan Theater with their respective late night shows. Television City is also a centralized location near many studios and Hollywood, which should allow easy access for guests and audiences.