Everything old is new again. At least that’s the philosophy on TV this fall as both Queen Latifah and Arsenio Hall are once again hosting their own shows. Queen Latifah first hosted a daytime talk show from 1999-2001; she gets the chance to do it again starting September 16 with “The Queen Latifah Show.” The field of daytime TV is pretty crowded with doctor shows, chat shows, cooking shows and established stalwarts like Wendy Williams. What will make Latifah stand out in the pack?
“I think I’m the first thing that’s different. I look a little different than what’s happening out there. This show is an extension of my personality. It’s about having a good time, entertaining, best music the best celebrities but hopefully with real conversations since I know so many of them through my own journey, and celebrating everyday heroes, those that are out there on the front lines.”
With producers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith on board, Latifah has a great support staff, but daytime requires a sensibility that not everyone can master. (See Kris Jenner, whose attempt at daytime TV will reportedly not be picked up.) Fortunately, Latifah is an Oscar nominee who has more than one talent.
“Of course I have to bring my artistic abilities to the show. We’re going to have some funny skits and things. My ‘Saturday Night Live’ mind is at work as well. I’ll get to stretch my acting chops but in a funny way and sing as well. The purpose of the show is to have fun entertain but I live here in the world as well so we’re not going to ignore anything that people want to talk about.”
Her all important first week is stacked with A-listers including John Travolta, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Steve Martin, Jake Gyllenhall and popular British singer Emeli Sande. But Latifah says her show won’t depend on her celebrity connects. “We have [a good lineup] but we also have a lot of funny things that don’t require us to have celebrity guests. I think you’ll start to see that the show is different from the typical talk show. It doesn’t revolve around celebrities constantly. I think we create enough entertainment that everyone will be satisfied.”