CBS has named English actor James Corden as the new host of “The Late Late Show,” where he will succeed the departing Craig Ferguson sometime in 2015.
Corden won a 2012 Tony for the play “One Man, Two Guv'nors,” co-stars with Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo in “Begin Again,” has appeared twice on “Doctor Who” and co-created and stars in the Hulu series “The Wrong Mans.” On the whole, though, it's fair to say he's even less well known to U.S. TV audiences than Ferguson was when he took over “Late Late Show” a few years after the end of “The Drew Carey Show.”
In this case, CBS is clearly betting on talent over celebrity, while also doing nothing to diversify the ranks of network late night talk.
As somebody who doesn't watch any of these shows anymore, the Corden news merits a shrug, unless CBS gives him license to throw out a format that's long outlived its usefulness at producing anything but the occasional fun viral video. He's a smart and funny guy, but if it's just a light variation on what Jimmy, Jimmy, Seth and the gang are doing – not to mention what Johnny, Dave, Jay, Arsenio and company have been doing for decades – then I'm fine sticking with “The Daily Show” and whatever Larry Wilmore winds up doing at 11:30 as my only late night staples during the week.
What does everybody else think? Excited for Corden? Frustrated it wasn't Aisha Tyler? Not going to watch “The Late Late Show” no matter who's the host?