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3/25: Morning Mash with George Lopez doing a talk show on TBS, Kicks Careathon results

TBS is starting its first talk show ever starring George Lopez in November. He’d be the first Latino-American late-night talk-show host.

“There’s an aspect of being a Mexican-American in these turbulent times,” said Lopez in an interview Tuesday. “With the wall and the drug cartels and immigration, so many things beings negative, this is a good story for us. And I don’t want to divide. I want to make this inclusive.”

He hopes to fashion his show like Arsenio Hall back in the early 1990s: upbeat, fun, diverse, younger.

“I’m not afraid to call people out,” he said. “I’m not afraid to do material that’s edgy.” To Lopez, this will be a break from the relative white male hegemony of late-night TV.

He thinks the reason broadcast TV executives have not given another minority a shot since Arsenio is fear despite his success. In fact, Lopez is indebted to Arsenio, who had Lopez on his show 16 times. “What I saw was a guy who managed to bring everybody together. I don’t think that element is here on late night TV right now,” he said.

TBS has had great success catering to a minority audience with Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne,” which has averaged more than 3 million viewers a week.

Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, said the Lopez show will be TBS’s biggest financial investment for an original show in its history, with more than 150 new shows a year. “We feel we can really differentiate ourselves in late night,” he said. It will be shot in Los Angeles and air at 11 p.m. for an hour.

The competition will be heavy. Jay Leno will have already started his primetime show at 10 p.m. on NBC. Lopez will compete partly against David Letterman and Conan O’Brien at 11:35 p.m. And cable shows such as Chelsea Handler’s “Chelsea Lately” on E! and “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” on Comedy Central air at 11 as well.

Lopez broke it big in 2002 when his self-titled ABC sitcom became the first successful U.S. comedy starring a Latino American. The show ended its run in the fall of 2007. Lopez kept things low key the past 18 months until this announcement, focusing on standup comedy tours.

In fact, he was just in Atlanta a week ago at the Fox Theatre, almost selling it out, which he considered a good thing considering the economy. (He said his last appearance at the Tabernacle a few years ago wasn’t nearly as successful.)

Here’s a quote from the press release:

“George Lopez is a special talent, with an everyman appeal that makes him uniquely positioned to be the next great late-night host,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “George and TBS are going to change the late-night television landscape and bring a brand-new energy to the talk-show genre by giving it a street-party atmosphere. We’re excited to see this show come to life.”

-Kicks raised $207,971 last week for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Reflecting the sagging economy, that is by far the lowest total since Kicks began the annual drive in 2004. Last year, the station raised $752,483. In 2007, the station raised $735,000 and in 2005 and 2006, it raised $1.2 million each. Tough times…

-“24″ star Kiefer Sutherland has committed to an eighth season. It’s a great seventh season, by the way, so far.

-The finale “Battlestar Galactica” last Friday pulled in 2.4 million viewers, the most in three years.

-”60 Minutes” has shown a resurgence in ratings this year, averaging 15 million from 12.4 million a year ago. The Washington Post credits Steve Kroft and the elimination of celebrity fluff.

-The Washington Post reports that National Public Radio’s cumulate audience is now 20.9 million, up 9 percent from 2008. Its audience has grown 46 percent since 2000, according to Arbitron research figures. But declining revenues mean projected deficits.

NPR faces declining funding from all its major sources: corporate underwriters that give money in exchange for on-air mentions, charitable foundations and annual dues from almost 900 member stations. Many NPR member stations have announced staff cutbacks of their own in the face of declining listener contributions and other revenue.

While Georgia Public Broadcasting has been cutting staff, Public Broadcasting Atlanta (which operates WABE-FM/90.1) has not done so.

9 comments Add your comment

jweaver

March 25th, 2009
4:13 pm

I believe I Love Lucy was pretty successful with a Latino star.

Rodney Ho

March 25th, 2009
4:27 pm

I meant headlined solely by a Latino American. You can argue he was the equal to Lucy on that show, true. There was ‘The Freddie Prinze Show,” in the 1970s, too, but I’m not sure that was nearly as successful as “The George Lopez Show.”

Tarryl

March 25th, 2009
6:21 pm

There is a difference here. Desi Arnaz was a Latino (Cuban), but he was not born in America. He just lived here and made his career here. Freddie Prinze and George Lopez were born in America. That would technically make them Latino-Americans.

T

March 28th, 2009
8:20 pm

The last time I saw George Lopex, he was dissing Jay Leno. Now he wants to do a talk show?

A suggestion. Instead of tearing other hosts down, be positive. We all know the MSM feeds off gossip. So why not stay above that level and show some class as you go? At the end of the day, it only’s TV, right?

For another view on this, check out http://globalcomedy.wordpress.com.

Carlos

March 30th, 2009
12:28 am

60 minutes is a great news show. Its more about insightful news story and not tabliod headlines on shows like NBC’s Dateline and ABC’s 20/20.

cookie

August 7th, 2009
3:02 pm

well me and son his 10 year od like your shows and your videos.Yes the I love lucy was a susseceful show and your is going there to. My son word is I can breath or the you remember you remember .thank for your shows

Siddony

August 21st, 2009
9:43 pm

George Lopez is one of the best comdey show ever.

Siddony

August 21st, 2009
9:45 pm

Oh! What about the “Nanny” also she rock.

albert

October 9th, 2009
12:13 pm

he is so funny and his mom is carzy