Late night’s rookie of the year, James Corden’s super-cool “Carpool Karaoke” segments put him on the express lane for stardom — and now he’s steering this runaway pop culture explosion to prime time!
CBS will celebrate the hip host’s one-year anniversary on the network with “The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special” (Tuesday at 10 p.m. on CBS) that promises a brand-new driving duet with Jennifer Lopez, along with a mix of memories from his phenomenal first year.
“We call the carpool segments our gateway drug into James’ wacky world,” says executive producer Rob Crabbe. “Getting a 10 o’clock special will give audiences a great taste of all the cool stuff that he’s doing after midnight!”
The high-gear gimmick drove this previously unknown Brit-com actor into the spotlight with duets that have become the Internet’s biggest hits since, well … porn.
The show’s YouTube Channel has amassed more than 800 million total views and 3.9 million subscribers since its premiere in March 2015.
Adele joins James Corden for “Carpool Karaoke” spin around London on the Brit comic’s “Late Late Show.”
Corden carried the concept with him from England, where he did the bit with George Michael for Comic Relief and drove away with a massive new audience of Brits.
But it was initially a hard sell for American artists, who didn’t know who James was, let alone wrap their head around the concept.
“Once we convinced Mariah Carey, that was the difference-maker,” Crabbe says. “It was a leap of faith for her and a statement for us. Soon we had other artists asking us to do it.”
Mariah’s ride drew 4 million views within TWO DAYS. For some reason, Justin Bieber pulled ANOTHER 13 million hits and tooling through London with Adele an astounding 86 million!
Chris Martin (l.) joined James Corden on “Carpool Karaoke.”
Driving duets with A-list talent like Adele have piled up more hits than the mixed martial arts contests passing as Donald Trump’s political rallies — redefining late-night viewing habits and pushing Corden to the front of the crowded pack.
Adele’s video alone has been seen more than 84 million times on YouTube.
“It’s digestable entertainment that you can squeeze in at any time of day online,” Crabbe says.
It’s also a difference-maker in the talk show landscape and has placed Corden in preferred parking with both viewers and artists eager to enjoy the ride he’s taking everyone on!
Even the legendary Elton John joined in.
“It’s the most natural environment for these giant artists to be themselves in,” Crabbe says. “There are no handlers around. There are no commercials. They can just relax and have fun. They can see how thrilled James is to be with them and they reciprocate.”
The special was the idea of CBS Entertainment President Glen Geller, who knows he has a hit on his hands and is hoping the primetime special will be an invitation for an even bigger audience to hitch a ride with his late-night lightning in a bottle … er … four-door sedan.
“James is a guy who was anything but green when he was a star in England,” says Crabbe. “American audiences just weren’t aware of how amazingly talented he is.
“A year later, they feel like they discovered him, and they love him!”