Soon, James Corden’s unique brand of vehicular karaoke will be an Apple Music exclusive. The “Late Late Show” host’s endearingly popular “Carpool Karaoke” — a mishmash of celebrity cameos, musical guest appearances, and hilarious renditions of songs by Missy Elliot, Beyoncé and other artists — will soon grace Apple’s streaming platform in the form of a 16-episode series. It will be available on Apple Music’s premium, $15-a-month tier, and Corden and “Late Late Show” producer Ben Winston have signed on to executive produce.
The iTunes-bound “Carpool Karaoke” won’t involve quite the same shenanigans as its television inspiration. Rather, the Apple Music iteration will feature an as-yet unnamed host who will accompany celebrities on wild rides through the streets of L.A., D.C., and elsewhere across the continental United States. Corden will likely make guest appearances, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and will be “heavily involved” in the spinoff’s creative development.
It’s a big get for Apple Music. “Carpool Karaoke” has played host to stars from young adult sensation Justin Bieber to Grammy winner Mariah Carey. Jennifer Hudson, Selena Gomez, and the members of One Direction have made appearances, too, as have Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and first lady Michelle Obama. The show’s metrics speak for themselves: Carpook Karaoke clips have generated a collective 830 million views on YouTube. Adele’s installment alone generated 119 million in six months.
The show’s premiere date has yet to be announced. Production is slated to begin “soon,” said Apple.
The partnership with Apple is fortuitous. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Corden and Winston began pitching the idea of a stand-alone “Carpool Karaoke” series to multiple “SVOD and cable buyers” earlier this year in the hopes of generating a bidding war. Apple, it seems, swooped in more quickly than the competition.
It’s Apple’s second foray into original programming. Earlier this year, The New York Post reported that Apple was pursuing development of a reality show about app developers. “We’ve been focused on a lot of content around Apple Music, video is a big part of it, and we’ll do more of those [shows,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, told The Post in March. “This was another opportunity right up our alley with apps.”
Apple has also invested in “Vital Signs,” an autobiographical series about rap artist Dr. Dre. And it’s producing a six-part music series, “The Score,” in partnership with Vice Media.