James Corden’s Late Late Show has been a storming success in the US, so it might surprise you to hear that ITV missed out on the chance to have the production company behind it make The Nightly Show.
The boss of Fulwell 73 (the company who makes The Late Late Show in the US) Ben Winston revealed to RadioTimes.com that he had contacted ITV about producing their late night entertainment show, but that the broadcaster turned him down.
“I would have loved Fulwell  to have made that show,” Late Late Show executive producer Winston told RadioTimes.com. “We reached out to ITV when we heard they were doing a night-time show and offered our services as a production company to at least pitch, but unfortunately they wouldn’t take a meeting with us about it, which was a shame.”
RadioTimes.com contacted ITV, but they declined to comment.
Winston, who’s back in London for Corden’s three night run of UK Late Late Show recordings, doesn’t want to criticise the team who ultimately got the gig, though. In fact, he said producers did “a really good job” on The Nightly Show and received too much unfair criticism.
“It’s a hard thing to do in The UK,” Winston said of the challenges of replicating The Late Late Show’s success. “There are less available guests, with the TV shows and the films and the music. We have to have four guests every night and it would be very difficult in the UK.”
He also believes that the way in which UK audiences watch television makes it even more of an uphill battle.
“We’re just not as used to it,” he explained. “American people grew up with it, it was just part of their culture in the same way that we have amazing entertainment on a Saturday night and that’s where our highest ratings are.”
Viewing habits have a role to play too: “We’re used to going to bed in America and watching a late night show and in England we’re just not. I just think they’re different mentalities.”
Does he think a late night show format will ever succeed in the UK then? Or enjoy as much success as the Late Late Show has in the USA?
“I don’t know”, he muses, “but we’d love to make one.”
The special UK episodes of The Late Late Show with James Corden air on Sky 1 on June 7th, 8th and 9th at 10pm, and are also available for non-Sky subscribers on NOW TV