Having successfully dominated the music and film industries, Queen Latifah has now set her sights on the small screen. The award-winning rapper, singer, and actress will soon reign the daytime talk show market as the host of her own series, The Queen Latifah Show.
Fellow triple-threat industry veteran Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith have teamed up with Latifah to executive produce the syndicated show through Smith’s company Overbrook Entertainment. A year in the making, The Queen Latifah Show was reportedly the cause of a major bidding war between the major broadcast networks, of which CBS emerged victorious.
“The Queen Latifah Show will feature celebrity interviews, human interest stories, comedy, pop culture and musical performances,” reported Deadline.com. “It is expected to showcase Queen Latifah’s talents, blending comedy and music into her hosting duties.”
Scheduled to air in the fall of next year, Latifah’s show has garnered a major amount of buzz in the television industry, seeing as how no breakout talk show hits were produced this year. The Oscar-nominated star will be entering the daytime talk game and joining host heavyweights like Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan (ABC), Ellen DeGeneres (NBC), and Wendy Williams (FOX), as well as daytime newcomers Trisha Goddard (NBC), Steve Harvey (NBC) and Katie Couric (ABC).
Many Queen Latifah fans will recall that the star has had prior experience hosting her own talk show, which she briefly did from 1999 to 2001. So, while Latifah has been out of the daytime talk circuit for little over a decade, she is not necessarily out of her element in this new endeavor.
Television insiders have expressed high expectations for The Queen Latifah Show, hinting that the series has the potential of becoming a serious contender in daytime talk. A writer at Shadow And Act has suggested that Latifah’s show is poised to fill in a gap left vacant by Oprah Winfrey’s departure. The huge success of Lifetime’s African-American remake of Steel Magnolias, in which Latifah both headlined and executive produced, has reaffirmed her talent behind the camera and her ability to draw in massive audience numbers.
“I wasn’t intimidated at all,” Latifah told Good Morning America earlier this month. “I was really excited, especially when we got the cast that we did.”
The Steel Magnolias star and her business partner Shakim Compere have had quite the successful year in Hollywood through their production house Flavor Unit. With Latifah’s hustle showing no signs of stopping, The Queen Latifah Show is likely to be a mere taster in another triumphant year for the Queen.
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Patrice Peck is a writer and journalist whose work explores the intersection of race, culture, and identity. Her work lives at www.patricepeck.com.