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Paul McCartney's 'Carpool Karaoke' Episode Goes Prime Time    

CBS will air TV special after segment with James Corden becomes YouTube hit

spinner image Paul McCartney and James Corden hugging in front of a car.
James Corden (left) and Paul McCartney go on a fun "Carpool Karaoke" ride.
Craig Sugden/CBS via Getty Images

At 75, Paul McCartney can still make our hearts go boom. So CBS is turning his hit appearance on an edition of James Corden's “Carpool Karaoke” into a one-hour prime-time special Monday night.

That 23-minute segment on The Late Late Show with James Corden just surpassed 30 million views on YouTube. Impressed by its popularity and the public’s strong emotional reaction, CBS decided to expand it into Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool, airing at 8 p.m. ET.

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The original installment, broadcast June 21 during a week of shows from London, found Corden and McCartney driving around McCartney's hometown of Liverpool and visiting the former Beatle’s home, sites referenced in Penny Lane and the Philharmonic Pub, where McCartney thrilled locals with a live show. It was the longest “Carpool Karaoke” segment in the comedic sing-along series that launched with Mariah Carey in March 2015 and has featured such music superstars as Madonna, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Adele and Kelly Clarkson. 

The McCartney episode was a viral smash, drawing 50,000 comments on YouTube, with sentiments split between joy and tearful nostalgia and summed up in one fan’s description as “a five-hanky special.”

Even Corden welled up after the pair sang Let It Be, but most of the action is upbeat. They visit the barbershop mentioned in Penny Lane and drive past the church where McCartney was a choirboy. At his childhood home, he performs When I’m 64 at the piano and demonstrates how he achieved a fuller sound playing guitar in the bathroom, or “bog.” He recalls how his father urged him to clean up She Loves You by singing “yes, yes, yes” instead of “yeah, yeah, yeah.” At the pub, he and his band perform a lively set that includes A Hard Day’s Night, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Love Me Do, Back in the USSR and Hey Jude.

Expect more music and more conversation in the expanded version, says Ben Winston, the show’s executive producer.

“We were overwhelmed by the response to our ‘Carpool Karaoke’ with Paul McCartney,” Winston said in a statement. “We loved making it and knew we had something special, but it was so wonderful for us to see how many people watched and enjoyed it. I think it resonated with people, as Paul’s music speaks to every generation, young and old, especially today. The message in the music is as relevant now as it has ever been." 

In addition to a host of Beatles classics, Corden and McCartney belt out McCartney's new Come On to Me. That rock tune and a ballad, I Don’t Know, have been released ahead of McCartney’s next album, Egypt Station, out Sept. 7 on Capitol Records. Named after one of his paintings, it’s the first full batch of new McCartney music since 2013’s NEW.  His “Freshen Up” tour starts Sept. 17 in Canada. Exactly 58 years earlier, the Beatles were on stage at the Indra Club in Hamburg, Germany. 

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