It was almost exactly 1 1/2 years ago today when it was announced that Will Smith, his Overbrook Entertainment cohorts, and Queen Latifah were teaming up with Sony Pictures TV to produce a syndicated daytime talk show for the Queen to host.
Details have been scarce, except that the program was scheduled to debut in 2013, and, after some competitive bidding between networks, CBS landed what will be called The Queen Latifah Show (recall the Queen once hosted a talk show, also titled The Queen Latifah Show, which had a rather short run, from 1999 to 2001. Expectations for this upcoming new program are probably higher).
The show - which will feature celebrity interviews, human interest stories, comedy, pop culture and musical performances, and showcasing Queen Latifah’s talents, blending comedy and music into her hosting duties - now has an official premiere date of Monday, September 16, 2013, at 11am.
At least, that's what Queen Latifah's website says, and where I lifted the above image, which is the site's homepage. Note that it has a count-down to when the show will debut, and, as of this post, sits at 195 days, 20 hours, 45 minutes, and 4 seconds, and counting...
Doing the math will tell you that 195 days, 20 hours and 45 minutes from 2:15pm EST (the time right now), will be 11am on September 16. So it looks like Latifah will be going up directly against the women of The View on ABC, which also comes on at 11am daily.
Can you imagine if the show was instead slotted for 10am? It'll be going up against the very successful Wendy Williams show on Fox, which would probably end up being a dogfight between the two shows - Latifah against Williams.
Latifah will join what is already a crowded daytime talk show market, although none of the current crop of new shows has produced what we'd call a breakout hit, which might give a high-profile show like Latifah's the opportunity to fill in a gap left vacant by Oprah Winfrey's departure.
She'll be joining the aforementioned Wendy Williams (on Fox, although it's syndicated), Steve Harvey (NBC/Universal), Trisha Goddard (also with NBC/Universal), Live on ABC, The Talk, The View, and others.
Latifah definitely stays busy (via her Flavor Unit production house, along with partner Shakim Compere), both in front of and behind the camera, on TV and in film.
I look forward to seeing what she brings to today's daytime TV lineup.