James Corden has committed to paying the salaries of about 60 furloughed staffers on “The Late Late Show” after their paychecks from CBS come to an end this week.
Corden has been hosting and producing “The Late Late Show” from his garage in Los Angeles since April 14.
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CBS covered eight weeks of salary for production staffers that were sidelined by the sudden shutdown of “Late Late Show” on March 15 as the coronavirus outbreak spurred social distancing mandates.
Last week, Corden informed some staffers that they would be furloughed as of May 4 and that he would cover the salaries going forward out of his own pocket. The total cost to Corden is unclear, but is likely to be at least mid-five figures a week.
On the positive side, as California moves slowly to reopen the economy and other aspects of public life, shows filmed on a soundstage a la “Late Late Show” are seen as among the first productions likely to go back in a controlled environment albeit with some adjustments. “Late Late Show” originates from CBS Television City in the Fairfax district.
Corden and his producing team have made a point of keeping “Late Late Show” staffers engaged on work-from-home projects related to the show during the lockdown.
Corden and exec producer Ben Winston have assembled a daily “speakers series” via Zoom for “Late Late Show” staffers as well as employees of Fulwell73, the production company that Corden and Winston run out of offices in L.A. and London.
Among the speakers who have addressed the crowd of 150 or more in recent weeks include producers Brian Grazer, Nina Tassler, David Crane and Hannah Minghella, director Richard Curtis and JJ Redick of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.
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