Many fans of late night talk shows were quite surprised about a year ago, when James Corden announced he would leave The Late Late Show in the early days of the 2023 TV schedule. His decision to extend his contract for just one more year means that viewers who adored watching him enjoy lots of tuneful time with a number of soulful singers on his much-talked-about “Carpool Karaoke” segments got the last of such excursions (in his final, Tom Cruise and Adele-filled episode overall) just a few days ago, on April 28. While Corden had previously said he was retiring to move ‘home’ and try new things, it’s now been revealed that the show was actually losing millions of dollars for CBS.
How Much Money Was The Late Late Show With James Corden Losing?
If you’ve been paying attention to even the smallest bit of the business of television over the past several years, you probably already know that streaming has changed things for broadcast networks in a major way. While it was already difficult to get a show on the air and keep enough eyeballs on it for it to last a long time and make good money, that’s now harder than ever. It was last December that the Cats star talked about wanting to move his family back to his hometown of London, but a new report from Los Angeles Magazine says that there was actually a bit more going on behind the scenes.
Apparently, sources who were privy to information about The Late Late Show with James Corden claim that the talk show cost between $60 million to $65 million to make every year, but was only bringing in less than $45 million yearly. According to one executive who was close to the situation:
It was simply not sustainable. CBS could not afford him anymore.
It’s thought that if host had stayed on longer, it only would have been possible if he’d taken a massive, “multimillion-dollar pay cut,” laid off lots of staff, or both, and there’s also some thought that the show might have been heading toward cancellation anyway, with or without him.
Though the formerly banned restaurant patron noted back in May 2022 that he simply wanted “to go out on top,” and see what might be next for his career without “the safety” of his late night show, it’s also true that ratings for the program were no longer what they once were. This is accurate across the board, even with the triumvirate of shows that air an hour earlier than Corden’s did, as Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, and Jimmy Fallon’s beloved shows only hit 5 million viewers total, when Johnny Carson in his pre-internet/pre-cable heyday could net 10 million sets of eyeballs all by his lonesome.