The final episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden aired this past Thursday. Not only was it James Corden’s final episode, but it was also the final episode of The Late Late Show. As previously announced, CBS will replace The Late Late Show with the old Comedy Central show @midnight.
When James Corden announced he would be stepping down as host, he talked about wanting to spend more time with his family as the main reason for leaving. Corden noted that some family members were getting older, he faced the struggle of being away from family, and he wanted to be there for his children as they grew up.
The final episode of The Late Late Show was the most watched for the show in over a year with an estimated 1.43 million viewers. That viewership was a large increase from the average viewership for the show in the past couple of years. In its timeslot, The Late Late Show was consistently beaten by Late Night with Seth Myers.
James Corden: Quit or fired?
Now, an anonymous executive has told Los Angeles Magazine that the show was not sustainable anymore. This anonymous executive stated that The Late Late Show cost around $60-$65 million to produce but only made just less than $45 million. This then brings up the question, did James Corden quit on his own or was he fired?
With a lack of viewership, being beaten in the ratings by his competition, negative reviews, and a seemingly long streak of bad press, was this possibly a mutual decision by CBS and James Corden for him to step down? Did Corden announce he was quitting to avoid the possibly inevitable announcement of his firing and shows cancellation?
Corden can’t seem to avoid bad press
James Corden’s media tour leading up to his final week of shows did bring some good press for Corden. He was interviewed and made appearances on several shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live! and on Howard Stern’s radio show. These interviews brought up some good press for Corden, which he definitely needed after what seemed like a long period of negative press.
If you’re not familiar with some of this negative press Corden has received let’s try and fill you in on the details. Director Craig Duncan referred to Corden as “the most difficult and obnoxious presenter I have ever worked with”. The director described James as being late, rude to the production crew and writers, and acting like a prima donna. The director added by stating, “So, cheers, James. I hope I never, ever work with you again.”
There was also the beef with the restaurant Balthazar. The restaurant owner banned Corden and called him “the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago.” The owner, Keith McNally, added that after a tiny bit of egg white was found in a requested egg yolk omelet Corden yelled at the staff “You can’t do your job! You can’t do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelet myself!”. After this story hit the internet, Corden claimed he did nothing wrong and that the situation was beneath him.
And there was the now infamous Reddit AMA (ask me anything) with James Corden. Usually in Reddit AMAs, celebrities are asked questions about their career, suggestions or tips for fans, or just questions to get to know the celebrity better. This was not how Corden’s Reddit AMA went. For the entirety of the AMA, account after account posted rude stories of Corden that they either experienced or heard from others, there were insults one after another, and several accounts simply asked why he was so rude to others. The whole AMA was a complete catastrophe for Corden.
The future of late-night TV
As I previously wrote, is The Late Late Show ending a sign of the future of late-night? This news of The Late Late Show losing a lot of money signals even worse news for the future of late-night television. Not only did the network not replace the host and continue the show, but it allegedly was a huge financial failure. This report from the anonymous executive makes you wonder if the other late-night talk shows are struggling financially as well. If so, how much longer can late-night talk shows survive?