Arsenio Hall, Jamie Foxx let loose
Gail Choice | 6/20/2012, 5 p.m.
It's official y'all, Arsenio Hall is returning to television with a new late-night show.
According to media reports, the show has been sold in all top 10 markets and 17 of the top 20 markets. It is already sold in 52 percent of the country.
CBS Television Distribution has signed the actor/comedian to develop a syndicated late-night talk show for fall 2013.
With Tribune Broadcasting partnering in the production of the show, the new program is set to launch on 17 Tribune stations, including in the three largest markets on WPIX New York at 11 p.m., KTLA Los Angeles at 11 p.m. and WGN Chicago at 10 p.m.
While Tribune is the anchor of the station launch group, also signing on are stations in major markets from the CBS Television Stations group, including Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Detroit, Tampa and Pittsburgh, plus local TV stations in Denver, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Greensboro and Norfolk.
On the business side, it makes good sense to bring Hall back. The Emmy Award-winning "The Arsenio Hall Show" was on the air from 1989 to 1994, his special brand of humor and his "best friends" list of guests pulled in viewers that normally shunned late-night talk shows, and they expect he will do it again.
"Arsenio had a substantial following with his previous late-night show, and that same 18-34 audience is now right in the middle of the late-night core audience of 35-54," said CBS-TV Distribution President John Nogawsk. "Years ago, he transcended time periods and attracted a cross-over audience while bringing a fresh perspective to late night. That same need in the market exists today as when we originally launched. We are looking forward to the same success with Arsenio's seasoned expertise and appeal in this genre."
Said Hall, winner of this season's "Celebrity Apprentice," produced by business mogul Donald Trump: "It's an amazing feeling to be going home to my old friends and colleagues and firing up our 'night thing,' Let's get busy . . . again!"
And speaking of getting busy, it looks like there will be a new hero in town . . . cowboy hero, that is. Jamie Foxx is about to shake things up in his new film "Django Unchained." The trailer for the Quentin Tarrantino film was recently released online and the buzz is on.
Foxx looks good as the very pissed-off ex-slave, Django, who is determined to get his wife (Kerry Washington, ABC's "Slander") back from a slaveholder (Leonardo DiCaprio, "Inception"), who doesn't play nice. He's aided by a dentist-turned-bounty hunter Christoph Waltz ("Inglorious Basterds"), who not only trains him as a bounty hunter, but is willing to help him get his wife back.
Samuel L. Jackson ("The Avengers") also stars as a slave who, let's just say, really likes his master.
Of course, "Django" has some folks concerned about the excessive amount of violence depicted in the film, but it wouldn't be a Tarrantino film, especially on the subject of slavery, without violence. This is one filmmaker who believes in getting the bad guys.
"Django Unchained" is scheduled to be released Christmas Day. And if you haven't seen the trailer, visit my website at www.hollywoodbychoice.com for a look.
Also take a look at the trailer for "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" on my site. Although I haven't screened the movie yet, I am reading the book of the same title and the book's take on slavery and vampires in early America is chilling.
"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" will be in theaters Friday.
Gail can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org