Ben Winston, currently exec producer of the UK version of The X Factor, will executive produce James Corden’s late-night show, debuting on CBS on March 9, the network said this morning. The show will be shot in Los Angeles at CBS Television City, the network said, ending speculation Corden, well-known in Broadway circles, might do the show from New York.
Winston met and became close friends with Corden when they were 17, and they have collaborated on many projects that CBS notes have gone viral online. His projects include producing Corden when he hosted the prestigious Brit Awards for four years, and directing and co-writing several memorable “Smithy” sketches with Corden for BBC1’s Red Nose Day charity telethon.
Winston also has produced and directed documentaries and movies for boy-band One Direction, and won an MTV Video Music Award and a Brit Award for directing the One Direction music video “Best Song Ever,” which also featured Corden. He is a co-director of the UK-based production company Fulwell 73.
“He and Ben have been friends for a long time and partnered together on a variety of successful projects. They are a creatively dynamic and very energetic host/producer combination,” Nina Tassler, Chairman, CBS Entertainment, explained of the choice of Winston in today’s announcement, adding the network is excited to introduce Corden’s wide range of performance talents and fearless creative instincts to American television viewers.
CBS officially announced last month it has cast the relatively unknown (in this country anyway) James Corden to replace Craig Ferguson as host of Late Late Show. Ferguson announced April 28 he would step down in December. Word first trickled out nearly a month earlier that CBS had lassoed Corden to step in — despite much speculation CBS would not go with another white guy — and another Brit to boot.
CBS is taking over production and ownership of both Corden’s show and Stephen Colbert’s when he takes over for David Letterman as host of Late Show some time in 2015 — that show will be based in New York.
Tassler said Corden “is already a big star in the UK and he’s wowed American audiences on Broadway. We’re very excited to introduce his considerable and very unique talents to our network television audience on a daily basis.” She called Corden “the ultimate multi-hyphenate — a writer, creator and performer who is loved and respected in every medium he touches, including theater, comedy, music, film and television.”
Corden attracted international attention as the lead in comedy One Man, Two Guvnors, first at the National Theatre and on the West End in London and then on Broadway, where he won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Play. Additional theater credits include the worldwide tour of The History Boys in the lead role of Timms, whom he also played in the feature film adaptation.
A spring 2015 Broadway revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum had been planned around Corden when he got the Late Late Show offer. Although the producers gave him an amicable send-off, the production went into the Broadway equivalent of turnaround and hasn’t been heard from since.