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James Corden is taking his turn with the critics.
The CBS Late Late Show host has been tapped to emcee the 31st Annual Television Critics Association Awards during this year’s summer tour. The non-televised event will be held on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 8, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where the tour stretches for more than two weeks. Corden joins an impressive roster of past hosts, including Conan O’Brien, Bryan Cranston, Key & Peele, Ellen DeGeneres, and his Late Late Show predecessor, Craig Ferguson.
The news comes nearly four months after Corden replaced Ferguson as the face of CBS’ 12:35 a.m. franchise. In that time, he’s earned praise from critics (including a Critics’ Choice Award nomination) and has churned out a steady stream of viral hits, 23 of which boast more than 1 million online views. Among them: a series of “Carpool Karaoke” installments featuring Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Hudson, as well as career reenactments from both Tom Hanks and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The snark-free British host was still little known stateside when he appeared on the TCA stage in January to promote his show. Corden had made his acting debut in 1997 in the BAFTA-nominated U.K. comedy TwentyFourSeven, and later added other prominent roles in acclaimed play The History Boys, musical film Into the Woods and his own U.K. TV creation, Gavin & Stacey. It was his stage turn in One Man, Two Guvnors, however, that garnered Corden not only a Tony Award but also the attention of CBS bosses Nina Tassler and Leslie Moonves.
“Between his fan-favorite role as the Baker in Into the Woods and his tremendous job as host of The Late Late Show, James Corden has quickly established himself as a rising star in the entertainment industry,” noted TCA president and Salt Lake Tribune TV critic Scott Pierce in a statement announcing the news, adding: “Corden’s relatable sense of humor and charming personality make him the perfect person to set the tone for the evening as we announce our picks for the top programs of the year.”
On Aug. 8, 12 awards will be doled out in categories including best comedy, best drama, best reality series and best new show. Freshmen entries fared particularly well in the nominations, which were announced June 4. In fact, Amazon’s Transparent and Fox’s Empire garnered the most with four each, while The CW’s Jane the Virgin and AMC’s Better Call Saul lured three noms and two noms, respectively.
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