When the new Carpool Karaoke series premieres on Apple Music, there will be someone new in the driver’s seat in every episode. Based on the segment that has become a global and viral phenomenon on The Late Late Show With James Corden, the 16-episode season will pair TV and film stars and pop-culture sensations for half-hour interview and car-singing sessions. Among the celebrity pairings revealed at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., on Monday were John Legend and Alicia Keys; Seth MacFarlane and Ariana Grande; Chelsea Handler and Blake Shelton; and Metallica and Billy Eichner. In one episode, Will Smith rides around with Corden himself.
Because Corden doesn’t have the time to host the show himself, he and executive producers Ben Winston and Eric R. Pankowski decided to go with a revolving door of hosts and guests instead of picking one host to do all of the driving, as Corden does on his own show. The show will also differ from The Late Late Show segments in that it will feature interviews and exchanges outside of the car and include celebrities from all realms of entertainment.
“We get so many calls from movie stars and other people who want to do Carpool Karaoke but it doesn’t work because on the show it’s about massively selling recording artists,” Winston said. “We wouldn’t do Will Smith on our show.”
The show is Apple Music’s first TV series and will premiere “soon,” Winston said. Because of Apple’s connection to the music industry, Corden said he felt it was a perfect fit. “There’s a musicality that’s run through that company as long as I can remember,” he said. “I remember so vividly when I got my first iPod and was no longer carrying a Case Logic with 50 CDs in it.”
Corden said he’s proud to expand the concept and share the wheel with others. “I don’t feel like it’s mine, really,” he said. “I just feel like it’s something I’ve been a part of, and now other people can share it.”