Everyone, please, calm down.
James Corden is not jumping from the CBS “Late Late Show” to take over Ellen DeGeneres’s spot on afternoon TV.
This was a beautifully trumped up story in a UK tabloid without a shred of fact or evidence. Nevertheless, it was repeated everywhere today by people too lazy to even think about how such a crazy thing would work.
Corden, first of all, is contracted to CBS for “The Late Late Show” for two more years. Solid years. Through August 2022. He can’t walk out of it just because of a gossip item.
Telepictures, Ellen’s producer and employer, can’t just will Corden to their payroll. And if Ellen’s show ends now or at the end of this season, they can’t wait to see who’s available. They have to start developing a replacement show now.
More importantly, Corden is locked into CBS with his producer, Ben Winston, and his Fulwell 73 Production company. This year, Winston takes over producing the Grammy Awards for CBS. Corden has hosted in the past and may again. Corden is also tied to the Tony Awards through CBS, which he often hosts. CBS isn’t letting him leave so easily, and there’s no indication that he wants to exit anyway.
And then there’s the question of why– aside from more money–would Corden want to have a syndicated talk show instead of the “Late Late Show.” He’s a Tony winner himself. A few years ago he beat the formidable Philip Seymour Hoffman (in “Death of a Salesman”) for Best Actor in a Play, for hilarious turn in “One Man, Two Guvnors.”
Before the offer from CBS, there was talk of him starring on Broadway in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” He’s also had a movie career, starring in “Into the Woods” and — less favorably — “Cats.” Corden will be doing more film and Broadway in years to come.
And my guess is Ellen is staying for at least one more season. She’s going to make big mea culpa, change producers, and pull it together. She’s not going to throw out 17 seasons without a proper send off year and a big finale I’ll bet Brad Garrett and Lea Thompson are her first guests in September.