After word leaked online last month that British comedian and actor James Corden was CBS's pick to replace outgoing "The Late Late Show" host Craig Ferguson, the network made the news official Monday.
CBS announced that Corden would take over for Ferguson after the host steps down at the end of this year, though the network offered no concrete details on where the show would be filmed (New York or Los Angeles) or exactly what date it would debut (currently slated for sometime in 2015). In a statement announcing the hire, CBS entertainment chairman Nina Tassler praised the 36-year-old Corden's wealth of talents.
"James Corden is a rare entertainment force who combines irresistible charm, warmth and originality with a diverse range of creative instincts and performance talent," Tassler said. "He is the ultimate multi-hyphenate – a writer, creator and performer who is loved and respected in every medium he touches, including theater, comedy, music, film and television."
"I can't describe how thrilled and honored I am to be taking over from the brilliant Craig Ferguson. To be asked to host such a prestigious show on America's No. 1 network is hugely exciting," Corden said in a statement. "I can't wait to get started, and will do my very best to make a show America will enjoy."
Corden's long and impressive resume includes a Tony win for "One Man, Two Guvnahs," co-creating beloved British sitcom "Gavin & Stacey," a recent role in the Mark Ruffalo-Keira Knightly music flick "Begin Again," and an upcoming part in Disney's "Into the Woods." He also boasts an impressive 4.4 million Twitter followers, a captive audience that Tassler noted attracted CBS to the young, somewhat unknown in America talent.
"To me, he's like a cross between Fred Astaire and Jack Black," Tassler told The Hollywood Reporter. "He just has an incredible range; everything he does has been so distinctive and his comedy has been very specific – very fresh and very funny."
Tassler said that Corden was currently working out how he would tweak the late night talk show format to suit his sensibilities, while also vying for a piece of the viral pie enjoyed by buzzy segments on Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show," "Late Night with Seth Meyers," and "Jimmy Kimmel Live." The exec also acknowledged the elephant in the room: late night's lack of diversity, and Corden's selection continuing the trend of a field completely dominated by white males.
"We took a long time to make this decision, and we met and considered a number of diverse candidates," Tassler said. "But at the end of the day, we were just blown away by him."
Corden won't be the only new face of CBS late night programming for long: Stephen Colbert is set to replace outgoing "Late Show" host David Letterman, also in 2015. That scheduling change is due to happen sometime mid-year.
via: The Hollywood Reporter
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