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Flashback To 1997 - Remember Arsenio Hall's Short-Lived Sitcom Co-Starring Vivica Fox?

by Tambay A. Obenson
April 17, 2013 2:46 PM
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I'm finally getting around to reading Nicole Laporte's tome, The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks. I bought it in 2011 when it was published, but just never go around to reading it until now. 

It's an entertaining read; not terribly eye-opening thus far (I'm about a third of the way through it), but I'm picking up a few things here and there, as well as reminders of previous noteworthy events, like the company's early failed attempts into television - one of which was the scripted series titled Arsenio.

I'd completely forgotten that talk-host Arsenio Hall once starred in his very own TV comedy sitcom, opposite Vivica A. Fox as his wife. Laporte's book mentions it, although as more of a footnote in highlighting DreamWorks' early TV ventures.

Does anyone remember it? Did you watch any of it?

If you don't recall nor did you watch it, I wouldn't be too surprised, since only a total of 7 episodes aired on ABC, between March 5 and April 23, 1997, before it was canceled. This was 3 years after The Arsenio Hall Show - his late night talk show - went off the air in 1994.

Arsenio was an Atlanta-set comedy in which Hall starred as the host of a sports TV show, who's also newly married to his lawyer wife (played by Vivica A. Fox). It was centered primarily on the comedy and drama of his life on the job as well as at home, where his wife's younger brother (played by Alimi Ballard), a slacker Harvard graduate, lived with them.

The show was canceled rather quickly, according to Laporte's book, because of low ratings.

Here are 10 minutes of the pilot episode as a refresher:

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  • lilkunta | April 22, 2013 1:16 PMReply

    i dont remember this. i do remember UP ALL NIGHT with her, patti labelle, morris chestnut.

  • ALM | April 17, 2013 10:46 PMReply

    They shot this before Atlanta became a hot bed for tv and film projects with majority Black casts.

    I don't remember this show, but I do remember "Up All Night". I used to love that show. It wasn't groundbreaking, but I didn't mind hearing Patti LaBelle sing, seeing the musical guests, and watching Morris Chestnut work each week.

  • Anti@believer | April 17, 2013 9:58 PMReply

    Never knew.

  • Janay | July 28, 2013 4:15 AM

    I do remember Arsenio on Abc I also have the whole pilot episode on my PC. The show with Vivica Fox, Patti LaBelle, Simon O'Brien, Morris Chestnut, Martin was called "Out All Night". Up All Night is a NBC show with Christina Applegate and Mya Rudolph.

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