Officially, the new TV season is two weeks away. For stations and talk-show fans, however, it starts now. On Monday, the Arsenio Hall and Bethenny Frankel shows start Monday (Sept. 9); Queen Latifah is a week later. Here's the overview I sent to papers; scroll down after that foe Hall and Frankel profiles.
By MIKE HUGHES
For TV stations, it's moving time
Old talk-show hosts – Jeff Probst,
Ricki Lake, Anderson Cooper – are moving out. New ones are arriving
– Arsenio Hall and Bethenney Frankel on Monday (Sept. 9), Queen
Latifah a week later.
That's part of the annual shuiffle, as
stations fill their non-network timeslots. This year, it includes a
couple key comedy reruns (“Modern Family” and “The Middle”)
and assorted oddities – including two shows (“Paternity Court”
and “The Test”) that will sometimes have paternity tests.
Near the top, however, are those new
In daytime slots, there's Frankel,
whose outgoing personality scored on “Real Housewives of New York”
and two spin-offs. Her talk show will be upbeat, she said, with some
serious subjects – sex, business, diet, love – and some others.
“It's definitely going to have its shallow moments.”
And there's Latifah who describes a
blend of variety-show moments and an Oprah Winfrey mood. “There's a
space in daytime television for … a whole bunch of fun, some
amazing music, but really some heart. I think (Winfrey) was able to
tap into that …. I would love to tap into the heart.”
In latenight spots, there's Hall, whose
previous show (1989-94) had a fresh, hip feel. “It's kind of the
same Arsenio,” he said. “Less hair, less shoulder pads, but
inserting myself into this culture of music, comedy, pop, hop.”
The difference is that the top
latenight turf is tougher now. By February, it will have two Jimmys
(Kimmel and Fallon), plus David Letterman and lots of cable shows. “I
call this a golden age of late-night TV,” said Neal.Kendall, one of
That still leaves lots of room, said
John Ferriter, anther Hall producer. “There are 290 million
Americans who don't watch late-night.”
Meanwhile, daytime has had huge gaps,
ever since Oprah Winfrey left. The new talk shows have major people
as producers. For Frankel, it's Ellen Degeneres; for Latifah, it's
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.
“I couldn't think of anyone else who
could win in this space besides Latifah,” said Pinkett Smith, who
feels her friend fits the requirements neatly. “She is extremely
likable …. She's a lot of fun.”
And soon, she and Frankel will try to
give daytime a fun injection.
“The Arsenio Hall Show” and
“Berthenny” debut Monday (Sept. 9)
“The Queen Latifah Show”
debuts Sept. 16
Each continues weekdays, in a