Jennifer Hudson is coming to light this fall with the launch of The Jennifer Hudson Show on Fox Television Station.
While the new hour-long talker isn’t technically a Warner Bros. TV replacement for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which is concluding this year, Hudson’s show is poised to be the studio’s new flagship daytime talk show once DeGeneres she has said final farewell after 19 races of the season.
as diversity First reported in November, “The Jennifer Hudson Show” is also from the “Ellen” production company Telepictures. Ellen executive producers Andy Lassner and Mary Connelly served as showrunners on Hudson’s test show, which was filmed on the DeGeneres stage last fall. The show has since been sold to broadcast groups, with Fox TV Stations emerging as the winner.
In addition to airing on Fox TV Stations, the buyer, Hudson’s show will also launch on Hearst Television, along with additional broadcast groups representing more than 60% of the country.
“I have experienced so much in my life; I’ve seen the highest of the highs, the lowest of the lows and pretty much everything in between, but as my mom used to tell me, ‘If you think you’ve seen it all, just move on.'” Hudson said in a statement Wednesday. “People from all over the world have been a part of my journey from the beginning – twenty years ago – and I’m so willing to join their journey as we sit down and talk about the things that inspire and move us all. I’ve always loved people and I can’t wait to connect on a deeper level and in turn let the audience see the different sides of who I am, the human. And I couldn’t be more excited to be doing this alongside this incredible team. We’re going to have a lot of fun and mix things up a bit!”
Hudson’s show marks a reunion of sorts between Hudson and Mike Darnell, president of unscripted and alternative television at Warner Bros. Prior to Warner Bros., Darnell was the longtime head of alternative television at Fox, where he oversaw the massive “Idol” franchise. Hudson was a finalist for the show’s third season in 2004, and while she didn’t win the competition, he set the stage for her career explosion: Soon after, she was cast in the film adaptation of Dreamgirls – which earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
“I knew Jennifer was a force to be reckoned with since I met her nearly 20 years ago,” Darnell said Wednesday. “From her Grammy-winning music career to her Oscar-winning acting career, Jennifer’s amazing talent, big heart and authenticity shine through in everything she does. I am delighted to be working with her in this new role. She’s a natural and I know audiences will be hugging her in their homes any day.”
David Decker, executive vice president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, added, “Daytime has found its dream girl. We’re excited to bring Jennifer Hudson to Fox, Hearst and all of our broadcast partners this fall. Warner Bros. stands as the cornerstone between A-list talent and world-class broadcasters building successful brands that drive audiences.”
The addition of The Jennifer Hudson Show marks the arrival of a second American Idol alumna into the daily speaker space, as season one winner Kelly Clarkson has hosted The Kelly Clarkson Show for NBCUniversal Syndication Studios since 2019. The Kelly Clarkson Show has been extended to 2023 and will precede Ellen on the market’s major NBC networks. (These networks have previously announced that “Kelly Clarkson” will move into the “Ellen” slot next season.)
DeGeneres announced in May that she would be ending “Ellen” after 19 seasons when her contract expires in 2022. She originally planned to end the show in 2019 but extended it for three final years. (However, the show took a hit last year over concerns about its work environment.) It was understood at the time that Telepictures had been preparing for DeGeneres’ departure; Among the rumors raised to take on a new show was Jennifer Aniston.
Day-to-day calls are notoriously difficult to crack, as most entries fold after their initial two-year station contracts. Ellen was a mighty exception that lasted almost two decades and spawned spin-offs like Ellen’s Game of Games, The Masked Dancer, Family Game Fight, and Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways.
“As the syndication business continues to undergo major transformation, we need power players to revitalize talk shows, and Jennifer Hudson is exactly that,” Frank Cicha, executive vice president of programming at Fox Television Stations, said Wednesday.
The Jennifer Hudson Show is produced in Los Angeles by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Telepictures and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.