James Corden last night offered a new twist on late-night logistics: While his band and some crew held forth in the studio, the host revealed that he is likely to appear on set via videoconferencing software for the next little while.
“I know you’re thinking, ‘Where am I right now?'” Corden said from a screen perched at the “Late Late Show” set where he typically holds forth. He told viewers that he was informed Monday he had come in contact with someone who recently tested positive for coronavius. “I’ve taken a test. That test has come back negative. But out of an abundance of caution for everyone who works on the show, I’m going to host the show over Zoom – way more than six feet apart from anyone.” Despite the remote broadcast, Corden was still dressed in a suit and tie, something he and producers have done throughout the pandemic, even as other late-night program have opted for a more relaxed feel.
CBS declined to make producers available to elaborate. No one from the program or the production has been affected.
Corden’s new perch puts a spotlight on the continuing complexities of producing late-night shows during the pandemic. Many of the programs have opted for a slimmed-down operation, with the hosts working for weeks from home-based studios. In recent weeks, many late-night mainstays have returned to some form of studio production. CBS’ Stephen Colbert is now working from a facility in the Ed Sullivan Theater offices that house CBS” Late Show,” while Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers have returned to NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters for the network’s “Tonight Show” and “Late Night.” Bill Maher last week returned to his studio for HBO’s “Real Time” and even had guests on stage.
Meanwhile, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel is expected to return to “Jimmy Kimmel Live” after taking a summer vacation and NBC recently indicated “Saturday Night Live” would return to doing a live show in October after producing several “at home” programs with taped segments last spring.
None of the programs have returned to including a full, live audience in studio, though “Real Time” had some audience members spread out in its last broadcast.
“It’s a shame, because I really feel like we were getting into a rhythm in the studio,” Corden said last night, adding later: “But the show must go on, and we are here and we are so happy that you’re watching.”