Fox 32 to air new show in fall
Chicago-born Grammy, Emmy, and Oscar-award winning actress Jennifer Hudson’s new talk show from Warner Bros. is officially a firm go for September with a wide-ranging deal with the Fox-owned stations, including Fox 32 (WFLD) here. The program is also landing on Fox-owned WNYW New York and KTTV Los Angeles in nation’s two largest markets.
The second station group partner in this project is Hearst Broadcasting, who puts Hudson on WCVB Boston, WBAL Baltimore, WTAE Pittsburgh, and KMBC/KCWE Kansas City, among others, In Milwaukee, Hudson is likely to land on Hearst-owned WISN Milwaukee, though Fox does own rival WITI. The Fox and Hearst station group clearances gives Hudson 60 percent of the country right off the bat.
“I have experienced so much in my life; I’ve seen the highest of the highs, the lowest of the lows, and just about everything in between, but as my mother always told me, ‘Once you think you’ve seen it all, just keep on living,’” Hudson said Wednesday in a statement. “People from around the world have been a part of my journey from the beginning — twenty years ago — and I’m so ready to join their journey as we sit down and talk about the things that inspire and move us all. I have always loved people, and I cannot wait to connect on a deeper level and let audiences see the different sides of who I am, the human being, in return. And I couldn’t be more thrilled to do it alongside this incredible team. We’re about to have a lot of fun and shake things up a little bit!”
Now officially titled The Jennifer Hudson Show, the program was in development for the last few months and was announced last November. The show will be produced in Los Angeles by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television.
There is a lot riding on this for both Hudson and Warner Bros. For one, Hudson is entering a field where there have been numerous flops in the last two and-a-half decades. And for Warner Bros., Hudson becomes the studio’s flagship daytime show as Ellen DeGeneres’ long-running show comes to an end after nineteen seasons. Another is the obvious decline in linear TV viewing, which makes it harder to successfully launch a new daytime show, no matter how well-known the name is.
Hudson’s arrival comes as Fox is facing some changes to its daytime lineup. Debmar-Mercury announced last week it was replacing longtime host Wendy Williams with Sherri Shepherd due to ongoing health issues. Meanwhile, the company’s Nick Cannon is barely registering a pulse with an average 0.4 rating – tied for eleventh place with Jerry Springer reruns and it appears likely Hudson’s show will replace him on the Fox-owned stations. Locally, Cannon is on at 1 p.m. while another low-rated talk show (The Real) airs at 11 a.m.
Also on the bubble is CBS Media’s Drew Barrymore Show, also struggling with a 0.5 rating as its contract with stations expires in September. No decision has been made on the show’s fate.
Hudson’s entry into the daytime sweepstakes marks the second American Idol alum to have a talk show. In 2019, NBCUniversal Syndication Studios successfully debuted The Kelly Clarkson Show in syndication and is set to take Ellen’s time slots in September on the NBC-owned stations, including NBC 5 (WMAQ) here. A few stations could also pair both Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson in a two-hour block.