On April 27th, 2023, The Late Late Show With James Corden aired its final episode. CBS stated the show simply wasn’t profitable earning approximately $45 million yet costing the network between $60 to $65 million a year to produce.
Sources report a CBS executive stated, “It was simply not sustainable. CBS could not afford him anymore.”
The Late Late Show originally aired in January 1995 and was hosted by Tom Snyder until 1999. After retiring, the torch was passed to former The Daily Show host Craig Kilborn from 1999 to 2004. A number of potential hosts auditioned live as the hunt for Kilborn’s replacement took place, finally landing on Craig Ferguson who remained on from 2005 to 2014. James Corden has been hosting since 2015 and announced in April 2022 he would be retiring from the show.
While the news of his departure isn’t new, CBS’s decision not to replace him and shutting down the series is somewhat of a shock to long-time fans of the 28-year-old series.
The Late Late Show has been a staple of late-night television for decades, evolving its formula as each new host joined the series. Corben definitely had a unique approach to hosting and maintained a large following for his outlandish and creative episodes. His show was nominated for 12 Emmys and in 2019 took home an Emmy for outstanding interactive programming.
A number of late-night talk shows have been seeing a substantial decline in viewership and The Late Late Show was no exception.
The current writers’ strike is another factor that possibly inspired CBS’ decision to retire the show on a high note. Late-night television relies heavily on their writing teams to prepare fresh material every day. Without them, producing shows that film almost daily with current events and guests is next to impossible. As long as the strike continues, there’s no telling whether other shows, live or pre-recorded series, will be facing a quick conclusion.