James Corden has established himself as the perennial host for his popular Late Late Show segment, Carpool Karaoke, but he won’t be leading the new Apple Music series.
Instead, hosting duties on the 16-episode series will be split between 16 different celebrities, executive producer Ben Winston revealed to reporters during Carpool Karaoke’s Television Critics Association session on Monday.
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The very first footage from the series showed several of the unique pairings of those hosts and their guests, including: John Legend and Alicia Keys (with a cameo by Taraji P. Henson), Will Smith and Corden himself, Billy Eichner and Metallica, Ariana Grande and Seth MacFarlane, and Blake Shelton and Chelsea Handler.
Though there had been discussions over who could take over hosting duties from Corden, it was just too tall of a task.
“We talked about it at the beginning,” executive producer Eric Pankowski said. “It was a pretty quick decision because the truth is, what James does is so special and singular and unique, that it was silly to try and replicate that and duplicate that.”
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Corden reassured that just because Carpool Karaoke is now a full-fledged show, it still remains a pivotal part of The Late Late Show’s DNA -- and it’s still entirely possible for a guest such as Grande to also appear in a Carpool Karaoke segment with Corden on the late-night talker.
“We’re still going to do it on our show,” Corden maintained. “This just became a wonderful platform to see these people in such an intimate environment.”
Carpool Karaoke premieres later this year on Apple Music.