CMA Awards 2018
'Carpool Karaoke' Producers Bringing Live Music Back to Primetime BBC
Fulwell 73, the production company behind CBS The Late Late Show with James Corden and its smash hit "Carpool Karaoke" series, is to bring live music back to primetime BBC television.
The as-yet-untitled six-part series will be broadcast live on BBC One, the broadcaster's flagship TV channel, in the fall, with each 30 minute episode to feature a mix of music performances, sketches and interviews.
Details about who will be appearing on the show is yet to be confirmed, although a press release from BBC promises the series will feature "the hottest bands and artists in the world right now."
"The BBC is the biggest music broadcaster in the U.K. and we are always looking for new ways to bring music to our audiences," said Bob Shennan, director of BBC Radio and Music in a statement announcing the project.
Hailing Fulwell 73 as "one of the world's most innovative and creative TV production companies," Shennan went on to say that the primetime series will be "a fantastic opportunity to showcase the biggest and best U.K. and international bands and artists."
The series was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content, and Jan Younghusband, Head of Commissioning for BBC Music. Paul Wright will be the showrunner.
"We're delighted to be working with the BBC on such an exciting series," commented Fulwell 73's Gabe Turner, calling the BBC's history of creating and broadcasting music entertainment "second to none."
"Their classic music shows were a big part of our childhoods growing up as fans devouring everything pop culture," reflected the British exec and filmmaker, who noted that while today's audience has more choice than ever before about how and when to consume music, "it's a great time to be making a show that gives a mainstream TV platform to the most exciting stuff out there."
Although live music is regularly broadcast on BBC One, the new series marks the first time since Top of the Pops was canceled over a decade ago that the network has run a dedicated live music show (outside of reality TV singing contests like The Voice).
Top of the Pops ran for 42 years and was watched by over 15 million people in its 1970s heyday before being axed in 2006. Since then, big name music stars have largely been confined to making guest appearances on primetime entertainment or TV chat shows, although there have been notable exceptions.
In November 2015, Adele made her long awaited comeback in "Adele At The BBC" – a world exclusive hour-long special broadcast on BBC One ahead of the release of 25. The following year, the network screened "Michael Bublé at the BBC," while one-off shows like the BBC Music Awards have also been broadcast on the Beeb's flagship channel.
The majority of the BBC's TV music coverage is instead screened on sister channels BBC Two and BBC Four, which together broadcast over 30 hours of this year's Glastonbury festival, reaching a record audience of over 21 million people across TV and online. BBC Two's long running music show "Later… With Jools Holland," which features live performances from international alternative, rock, world and folk acts, this year celebrated its 50th season.
Fulwell 73 is relatively young in comparison, but has made a huge impression on the world of TV entertainment since being set up in 2005 by Ben Winston, Leo Pearlman, Ben Turner and Gabe Turner. In 2007, the company – which has offices in LA and London - released its first documentary feature film "In the Hands of the Gods" (Lionsgate) with its other theatrical credits including "One Direction 3D: This is Us" (Sony/Columbia) and "I Am Bolt" (Universal).
It co-produces the Emmy-winning The Late Late Show with James Corden with CBS Television Studios and is currently co-producing two spin-off shows with CBS Television Studios: "Drop the Mic" for TBS and "Carpool Karaoke" for Apple.
James Corden, whose "Carpool Karaoke with Adele" clip has been viewed over 160 million times on YouTube, breaking the record for late night television, joined Fulwell 73 as its fifth full partner in January 2017.