EXCLUSIVE: James Corden, Drew Barrymore, RuPaul Charles and Faith Hill are set to headline The World’s Best, CBS’ high-profile global talent competition reality series from reality TV heavyweights Mark Burnett and Mike Darnell, the forces behind two of the biggest talent competition reality series of the the last two decades, The Voice and American Idol.
The Emmy-winning Late Late Show host Corden, CBS’ top go-to talent for emceeing marquee music-themed events, will host The World’s Best and will serve as executive producer, while Golden Globe winner Barrymore, Emmy winner Charles and Grammy winner Hill will serve as the three American judges. The 10-episode series, from Warner Horizon Unscripted Alternative Television, MGM Television and Fulwell 73 Productions, will premiere in 2019.
The World’s Best is described as a first-of-its-kind global talent competition that features acts from every genre imaginable, from every corner of the planet. They not only have to impress American judges, but will also need to break through the “wall of the world,” featuring 50 of the world’s most accomplished experts from every field of entertainment. The winning act will ultimately be crowned The World’s Best.
Executive producing the series are Mike Darnell, Mark Burnett, James Corden, Ben Winston, Brooke Karzen, Dan Sacks, Alison Holloway, James Breen and Barry Poznick.
“It’s only fitting that The World’s Best perform in front of the world’s best,” said Sharon Vuong, CBS’ SVP, Alternative Programming for CBS. “James, Drew, Faith and RuPaul are all amazing talents who have excelled in their respective fields on a global scale. We can’t wait for them to bring their distinct voices to a show that’s unlike any other.”
Since he took over as host of CBS’ The Late Late Show in 2015, Corden has won seven Emmys for the late-night show, off-shoot series Carpool Karaoke and his hosting of The 70th Annual Tony Awards. On CBS, he also hosted the Grammy Awards in 2017 and 2018.
“We feel incredibly lucky that James Corden agreed to be part of this groundbreaking global event competition. He’s an absolute force of nature, and his versatility, passion and showmanship are unrivaled,” said Darnell, President, Warner Bros. Unscripted Alternative Television. “The very name of the show defined the caliber of judges we sought out and ultimately got. Drew, RuPaul and Faith are incredibly accomplished superstars whose talents encompass every area of entertainment. Along with James, The World’s Best will now be the gold standard of competition shows.”
Added Burnett, Chairman of Worldwide Television Group, MGM, “James Corden is at the top of his game and there is no one better to host this ultimate international competition series. This groundbreaking series is like the Olympics of talent shows and needed the perfect talent combination.”
Barrymore won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for her HBO’s Grey Gardens. She currently stars in and executive produces the Netflix original series Santa Clarita Diet, which is in production on season three.
Charles is the producer and host of the reality competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race, for which he has received four Primetime Emmy Awards. The most commercially successful drag queen of all time, he made history last month when Drag Race became the first show to win reality series and reality host in the same year.
Warner Bros. has a relationship with both Barrymore and Charles. The studio’s Telepictures division has been exploring talk shows with both over the past couple of years, and the scripted unit developed a couple of projects with Charles, most recently comedy AJ and the Queen, which was picked up to series at Netflix.
Hill is one of the top-selling and most awarded female artists with five Grammy Awards, 12 Academy of Country Music Awards, three Country Music Association Awards. Currently, Hill is an executive producer of the Emmy-nominated daytime talk show Pickler Ben, which began its second season in September.