Title: Latifah, aka The Queen Latifah Show
Host: Queen Latifah
Executive producers: Queen Latifah, Will Smith, Shakim Compere, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez
Production companies: Flavor Unit Entertainment, Overbrook Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television
Format: One-hour daytime talk show
Broadcast Information: Latifah will broadcast in first-run syndication starting in the fall 2013, mainly on CBS Television stations. Check your local listings for dates and times.
Premiere Date: September 2013
Hip-hop icon and celebrated movie star Queen Latifah is no stranger to daytime talk. In the late 1990s, Latifah hosted The Queen Latifah Show on daytime television. It ran from September 1999 to August 2001. Like may daytime programs, the talk show featured the then 30-year-old host interviewing celebrities and newsmakers while discussing topics of the day.
Now, almost 15 years later, Queen Latifah returns to daytime television with a new talk show, also titled The Queen Latifah Show, and featuring a more mature, comfortable host with experience in front of and behind the camera, on stage, behind a mic and leading successful business and philanthropic endeavors.
The new show is co-produced by one of the biggest names in entertainment, Will Smith, through his production company Overbrook Entertainment. It will feature the usual celebrity interviews, hot topics and pop culture tropes, as well as top tier musical acts. The production is expected to play off Latifah's affable nature, comedic talent and immense musical abilities.
And it is already causing a stir. In the midst of production, the networks fell in to a bidding war to secure North American rights to broadcast the program. The reason? No big, blockbuster daytime talk shows in 2012. Katie, Katie Couric daytime entry, was expected to do gangbusters. It is doing well, but wasn't the hit broadcasters had hoped for. Returning hosts like Ricki Lake and newcomers like Steve Harvey haven't made waves either.
Much like Ellen DeGeneres, Queen Latifah is well known, well-liked and appeals to a broad spectrum of viewers - men and women of different races, ages, backgrounds and experiences. That appeal led to the bidding war CBS eventually won.
"This forum is the perfect place to showcase Latifah's tremendous range of talents and unique ability to connect and inspire people," says Miguel Melendez, one of The Queen Latifah Show's producers and a producer with Overbrook Entertainment.
Planting a flag online
Though the show is still eight months away from its premiere episode, the program has already planted a flag online at the show's official website, QueenLatifah.com. The website features a countdown clock (259 days, 13 hours, 10 minutes and 53 seconds at this writing) and connections to Queen Latifah's world in social media. Fans can find her on Twitter at @IamQueenLatifah and Facebook.
Fans can also sign-up at the website to receive updates on the program. Fill in your name, date of birth and email address, and the show will send you information leading up to the program's launch.
Will it make it?
Reading early speculation about the show casts two distinct opinions about the program. The first is that, because Queen Latifah was unsuccessful in her first go as a daytime host, she has a high mountain to climb with her new program. The second is that because she is older, wiser, experienced and successful, she's poised to become the new Queen of daytime television.
It will be interesting to see the contrast between the two programs. We have only a few more months to wait to find out!