CBS has reportedly tapped British writer and actor James Corden to replace Craig Ferguson as host of “The Late Late Show."
CBS would not confirm the news, which was first reported by the Wrap, and Corden’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Though he has a large social media following and is a major star in the UK thanks to his role in the hit sitcom “Gavin & Stacey,” the 35-year-old is still largely unknown to mainstream American audiences. Corden won a Tony in 2012 for his performance in the play “One Man, Two Guvnors,” and currently stars in the Keira Knightley romance “Begin Again.” He will also appear as the Baker in Rob Marshall’s upcoming adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical “Into the Woods."
With his strong theater background and musical abilities, Corden has a diverse set of talents not unlike his possible soon-to-be lead-in, Stephen Colbert, and “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon.
If CBS has in fact hired Corden, it would be an unexpected choice but would also represent more of the same for the network at 12:35 a.m. Like Corden, Ferguson was deemed an unlikely choice when he was tapped for “The Late Late Show” in 2004 and was at the time known for talents that included pretty much everything but hosting a talk show. Of course, both men also hail from the British Isles.
As a straight, white male, Corden would also represent a continuation of the status quo in network late night, a fact likely to draw criticism from many who had hoped that Ferguson’s slot would go to someone (names being floated included Aisha Tyler and Chelsea Handler) from a more diverse background.
Ferguson announced he would be stepping down from “The Late Late Show” in April, shortly after Colbert was named David Letterman’s successor at 11:35 p.m.
Follow @MeredithBlake on Twitter.