After 28 years, CBS aired “The Late Late Show”‘s farewell episode on April 27. The show’s cancellation may have been influenced by its deteriorating profitability. According to sources, the late-night program, which James Corden has hosted since 2015, costs $60 million to $65 million to produce each year but actually generates less than $45 million in revenue, according to Brian Stelter for Los Angeles Magazine.
An unnamed official informed Stelter that “it was just not sustainable” and that “CBS could not afford him anymore.” In April 2022, Corden announced his departure as a host, but it wasn’t obvious at the time whether the Late Late Show brand would survive.
The program has gotten 12 Emmy nominations since Corden took over and won the prize for Outstanding Interactive Program in 2019. “Carpool Karaoke” and “Spill Your Guts,” where celebrities had to answer questions honestly or eat strange meals, were two of the show’s most well-liked segments.
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In the 2020–21 season, the program averaged 971,000 viewers, according to Deadline. The audience for Seth Meyers’ “Late Night,” which airs at the same hour (12:30 a.m. Eastern), was 1.01 million on average. However, keeping Corden on board came at a high cost.
Variety reports that Corden made between $4 million and $5 million when he originally joined the program in 2015. He received an unknown wage boost in 2019 to keep the British host on board for an additional three years. Requests for a response from a CBS spokeswoman were not immediately fulfilled.