James Corden is in advanced talks on a new multi-year deal with CBS that will keep him at the helm of “The Late Late Show” as host and executive producer.
Sources said Corden’s camp has been in deal talks with CBS for some time. The previous deal that Corden inked when he came to the network from the U.K. in 2014 was set to expire at the end of the upcoming 2019-20 television season.
Corden’s new contract is sure to come with a significant raise for the host at a time when top talent is commanding massive paydays for TV projects.
Corden came in on the low end of the late-night TV pay scale as he was a largely unknown personality from the U.K. at the time. He was believed to have started out at around $4 million-$5 million a year but his “Late Late Show” salary has climbed since then with the success of the show. “Late Late Show” has earned Emmy nominations for talk-variety show for the past three years.
CBS declined to comment. Sources close to the situation cautioned that final terms were still being hammered out and there is no certainty that the deal will close.
Keeping Corden in the fold is important to CBS, given the network’s strength in late-night at present with Stephen Colbert ascending to the No. 1 spot at 11:35 a.m. Corden and his team have also been powerhouses in generating buzzy digital content that has given CBS new relevance in the viral video arena. “Late Show’s” “Carpool Karaoke” segment has taken on a life of its own, yielding primetime specials and a dedicated series for Apple.
The Fulwell73 production banner that Corden heads with “Late Late Show” exec producer Ben Winston and others also produces the singing competition series “Drop the Mic” for TBS, based on a “Late Late Show” segment. Fulwell73 has a separate development and production pact with CBS Corp.
Corden debuted as host of “Late Late Show” in March 2015. The British actor-comedian was a gamble for CBS as he came in with limited hosting experience. Corden won a Tony Award in 2012 for his work on Broadway in the play “One Man, Two Guvnors.” He gained fame in the U.K. for his work as creator and co-star of the well-received BBC sitcom “Gavin and Stacey,” which ran from 2007 to 2010.
Corden has become a big presence on CBS outside of “Late Late Show” as a frequent host of special events. He hosted CBS’ Grammy Awards telecasts in 2016 and 2017. He’s set for his second time out as Tony Awards host on June 9, following his acclaimed debut as Tony host in 2016.