James Corden won’t be the only host at the wheel of CBS and Apple’s Carpool Karaoke spin-off.
The series, which will be Apple Music’s first official show, will feature 16 different hosts (one per episode) paired with musical guests.
The guests announced at CBS’ Television Critics Association presentation Monday include John Legend and Alicia Keys; Billy Eichner and Metallica; Ariana Grande and Seth MacFarlane; Blake Shelton and Chelsea Handler and Will Smith and Corden.
Overall, the show is “fundamentally different” than Corden’s late night segments, executive producer Ben Winston said. The biggest distinction is that the spinoff will function as more of an “interview series,” and each episode will be 30 minutes in length.
Celebrities will also be interacting with each other more, outside just the car setting. For example, in the sizzle reel shown at TCA, Shelton accompanies Handler to a cryotherapy session.
“[The format] sets it apart from what James and Ben do on The Late Late Show,” executive producer Eric R. Pankowski said. “It’s been a really fun experience. As we’ve gotten more and more momentum with various bookings, it’s been fun to pair different people together and take advantage of all different relationships that are out there.”
In the last year, Corden’s segment has given him an upper hand in the digital space, with each video racking up millions of views. Recent guests have included First Lady Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and a handful of other stars. The segment featuring Adele was the No. 1 most viewed YouTube video in 2016.
Still, they don’t do it every episode. Corden said in the roughly 300 episodes of the late night show, about 23 have featured carpool karaoke segments.
The spinoff will allow for expansion of the property.
“The truth is we can only do it so many times on our show,” Corden said. “You physically can’t shoot them enough to do them all the time.”
As far as copycat shows, the EPs didn’t feel the need to comment.
“I haven’t seen it, so I don’t know,” Corden said when asked about whether Spike’s new show Caraoke Showdown is similar to Carpool Karaoke.
The Corden spin-off show underscores Apple’s efforts to position itself against rival streaming services.
Already, the tech giant has been behind releases such as Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour, a docu-series with Vice and exclusive video interviews with superstars such as Adele. In March of last year, the company announced it is teaming up with executive producer Ben Silverman (known for The Office), musician Will.i.am and Howard Owens’ Propagate for a show about the Apple app economy and culture.
“For us, it’s been incredibly exciting to be on this platform and work with a company like Apple,” Pankowski said. “They get music, the celebration of it and the creative process.”