James Corden, CBS Plan Primetime ‘Late Late Show’ Special

Add James Corden to the list of late-night hosts experimenting with new formats as TV networks grapple with the spread of coronavirus.

CBS said it will air a new primetime special from its “Late Late Show” host on Monday, March 30 at 10 p.m. eastern. “Homefest: James Corden’s Late Late Show Special,” will feature the host holding forth from his garage as he talks with celebrities and musicians. The show will include musical performances by BTS in South Korea, Andrea Bocelli in Italy, Dua Lipa in London, and Billie Eilish with FINNEAS and John Legend in Los Angeles. All will perform from the safety of their homes.  David Blaine, Will Ferrell and others are also expected to make appearances,

“Since ‘The Late Last Show’ came off the air, we have been thinking of different ways to try and make a show at this time,” said executive producers Ben Winston and Rob Crabbe, in a prepared statement. “With the help of some wonderful guests, we are going to try to put on the best show we can, to entertain, raise awareness, raise money and hopefully lift spirits. Shooting from James’ garage may be far from perfect, but under the circumstances we hope it can help someone, somewhere, who needs some cheer right now.”

Corden and the entertainers will encourage viewers to follow recommended guidelines from the CDC and government officials to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and reduce the strain on the medical community. The show will also provide information about how viewers can donate money to The CDC Foundation and Feed the Children**.

The special is a production by Fulwell 73 and CBS Television Studios.  It will be executive produced by Ben Winston and Rob Crabbe.

Many of TV’s late-night hosts have unveiled various initiatives to return to TV despite the fact that coronavirus means they cannot perform in studios with live audience adn the large crew their production require. Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah and Jimmy Fallon have begun creating low-fi video segments for social media that are also being mixed into broadcasts of repeats of “The Late Show” on CBS, Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and “The Tonight Show” on NBC. Jimmy Kimmel has created a series of “mini-logues” for social media while ABC has for a time stopped running original episodes of “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Seth Meyers has begun crafting indivdual segments for online distribution.

Others are trying to create enough material for original broadcast. Conan O’Brien intends to craft new episodes of his TBS program with his staff working remotely. Bill Maher and John Oliver intend to start doing original broadcasts of their HBO programs, “Real Time” and “Last Week Tonight.” And Samantha Bee will this evening broadcast a new episode of her “Full Frontal” on TBS from a remote location.

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