‘The Late Late Show With James Corden’ Finale Viewership Up 77%, Largest Audience Since 2021

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The CBS late-night show’s final episode averaged 1.43 million viewers

james corden cbs finale ratings
James Corden and Harry Styles on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" final episode in April 2023 (Terence Patrick/CBS)

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The finale episode of “The Late Late Show with James Corden” was a success for CBS. According to the network, the last episode saw a 77% increase in viewership in its season-to-date average. The talk show posted its largest audience on any night of the week since Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, which is when “The Late Late Show” followed the AFC Championship Game.

For its finale, CBS aired two different episodes, both of which were also available to stream on Paramount+. The first was “The Last Last Late Late Show With James Corden Carpool Karaoke Special,” an hourlong show that premiered at 10 p.m. ET/PT and featured appearances from Adele and Tom Cruise. Marketed as Corden’s official last “Carpool Karaoke,” that primetime special averaged 3.56 million viewers. That was an increase of 32% from Corden’s last “Carpool Karaoke” special, which premiered in 2019 and netted 2.77 million viewers.

That was followed at 12:37 a.m. ET/PT by the actual finale of “The Late Late Show.” The episode averaged 1.43 million viewers. Harry Styles and Will Ferrell were Corden’s last-ever guests. The star-studded event also included appearances from Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman and President Joe Biden. 

The finale was also a success on social. CBS has reported that the primetime special and finale drove 932 million potential social impressions, based on a calculation from NetBase that includes people who may have viewed posts related to this topic. In addition, the episode secured over 96,000 mentions on social. Based on these metrics, CBS is saying “The Late Late Show” was the No. 1 most social non-sports program on broadcast TV Thursday night.

This marks a continuation of a very good final week for “The Late Late Show.” The CBS staple earned over 35.5 million video views over its last week. An estimated 13.1 million of those views came from Adele’s second “Carpool Karaoke” with Corden, which was only released on Monday. CBS has estimated that “The Late Late Show With James Corden” last week saw a total of 523 million video views.

Last April, Corden announced that he would be stepping away from the late-night block to spend more time with his family. CBS then confirmed it will be ending the series after Corden’s departure, which happened Thursday night. “The Late Late Show” first premiered in 1995 with Tom Snyder as its host. In later years, Craig Kilborn and then Craig Ferguson took over hosting duties before handing the job over to Corden in 2015. Under the English comedian, the talk show ran for eight years and nearly 1,200 episodes.