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An industry insider claims “The Late Late Show” with James Corden was canceled because it lost massive amounts of money, costing CBS up to $20 million per year to keep on the air.
British TV presenter Corden, best known for his “Carpool Karaoke” skits, hosted the last installment of the program last week after heading it up for eight years.
The 44-year-old was reportedly paid close to $5 million per year to host the show. A source told Los Angeles Magazine that the production costs were between $60-$65 million while profits topped out at $45 million.
“It was simply not sustainable,” the anonymous source told ex-CNN anchor Brian Stelter. “CBS could not afford him anymore.” They said to continue the show, Corden would have to take a massive pay cut, plus they’d need to do layoffs. Ultimately, it was decided that the show should end after 30 years on the air.
Deadline reported in April 2022 that Corden would leave the show before summer 2023. According to the outlet, the network tried to keep Corden and offered him several contract extensions, which he declined.
“It’s been a really hard decision to leave because I’m so immensely proud of the show,” Corden told the publication then. “I’m thrilled to be extending [for a year]. I always thought I’d do it for five years and then leave, and then I stayed on. I’ve really been thinking about it for a long time, thinking whether there might be one more adventure.”
“My bosses here at CBS have been incredibly supportive and extraordinarily patient with me while I made this decision,” Corden told the outlet.
“We wish he could stay longer, but we are very proud he made CBS his American home and that this partnership will extend one more season on ‘The Late Late Show,’” CBS CEO George Cheeks told Deadline.
Nielsen ratings show that when Corden debuted in 2015, he averaged around 1.6 million viewers per episode. This number dropped to about half in the final year.
The “Late Late Show” finale included appearances from Harry Styles and Will Ferrell, plus Carpool Karaoke with Adele. President Joe Biden also delivered a video message. The final installment drew an average audience of 1.43 million viewers, which was its largest since 2021, according to The Wrap.