Here’s Pat: “The Man Of The People”

WGN morning show sports anchor gets his own show

He may not own – or maybe even drive – his own car, but he now has his own TV show.

Tribune Broadcasting’s WGN-TV announced last week the creation of a weekly late-night comedy show centered around WGN Morning Show sports anchor Pat Tomasulo.

Titled Man Of The People, the series – set to begin in late January – is similar in style to Comedy Central’s The Daily Show: a look back at the week’s events in news and pop culture. It marks WGN’s first foray into entertainment programming – that isn’t a food, lifestyle, or home fix-it show – since Bozo signed off in 2001.

When the announcement came last Wednesday on the morning show, Tomasulo came in to the newsroom riding a horse – yes riding a horse – and gave a speech:

Oh man, you are so right regarding Flo “The Progressive Lady” (one person yours truly would like to see less of on television.)

You can tell everyone is excited, even Tom Skilling:

The series is slated to premiere in late January (either the 20th or 27th) and air Saturday nights at 10 p.m., depending on the length of sporting events, which generally occupies the station’s primetime schedule. According to WGN, the show is being taped in front of a studio audience.

Doug Karo has been tapped to be executive producer of the project. A Chicago native, Karo has produced shows for Comedy Central, Turner, and SyFy.

According to Robert Feder, WGN is even hinting at national potential for Man Of The People. WGN – like all of Tribune – is being acquired by Sinclair, who already has  weekly half-hour Full Measure With Sheryl Atkinson airing in its markets though Measure is a straight news commentary show. If People succeeds in Chicago, the program could air on other Sinclair/Tribune stations such as WPIX in New York, KTLA in Los Angeles, and WPHL in Philadelphia – and maybe Tomasulo can get a nice Cadillac (or at least a used Volkswagen.)

This isn’t the first time the name Man Of The People was used for a TV show: James Garner starred in a short-lived sitcom of the same name during the 1991-92 season, playing a grifter who fills in for his late ex-wife as alderman, resulting in chaos. Airing Sunday nights on NBC, it perished opposite CBS’ Murder She Wrote,  Fox’s In Living Color and ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Man Of The People was also used as an episode title for a sixth season Star Trek: The Next Generation episode and a 1937 film starring Joseph Calleia.



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