When John Mayer took the moderator’s mantle on a Clubhouse talk on Tuesday night (April 27), one got the sense that the seven-time Grammy-winning musician was trying out material. Not shtick, per se, as the charismatic Mayer has no problem holding down a conversation on all manner of topics without prior preparation, but rather, Mayer took charge of a room of 3,000 listeners with the ease of a late-night host.
It’s no wonder, then, to learn that Mayer is nearing a deal with Paramount Plus to host a talk and performance series based on the format of the BBC’s long-running “Later with Jools Holland.”
Sources tell Variety that “Later With John Mayer” has been pitched to prospective broadcast partners as a series featuring performance segments as well as interviews with musicians, artists and other cultural figures in a setting designed to look like an after-hours club for musicians.
The series would run as a weekly offering on Paramount Plus, ViacomCBS’ streaming platform which was relaunched March 4. The plan is to have specials derived from the show’s performance segments air periodically on CBS as well. There is also talk of tie-ins with the Grammy Awards, which are aired on CBS.
CBS has chased Mayer for years. In 2009, then CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler told reporters that they were close to a deal for a series with the superstar rocker.
If a deal comes to fruition, it would mark a big commitment to TV for Mayer, who has been one of rock’s most enduring acts for the past two decades, most recently as a touring member of Dead & Company alongside original Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.
But it wouldn’t be Mayer’s first time taking the host seat on the small screen — or the really small screen. In addition to having his own “Current Mood” show on Instagram Live, which he launched in 2018, Mayer has filled in as guest host on “The Late Late Show” (also a CBS franchise) following Craig Ferguson’s departure and appeared on the final episode of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” He’s also known for his comedic chops, as evidenced by an appearance on “Chappelle’s Show” and, more recently, on TikTok where his videos have logged more than 140 million views.
Paramount Plus and a rep for Mayer declined comment.
With reporting by Manori Ravindran