While famous people may go on The Celebrity Apprentice to raise money for their charities, the show can also revive their professional careers–see Arsenio Hall, who is officially returning to late-night TV, a month after having won the Trump reality series (edging out Clay Aiken in a close battle of bromance).
The Celebrity Apprentice winner’s new show will air in September 2013 and will be syndicated by CBS Television Distribution and Tribune Co. The currently untitled late-night show will air at 11pm, Mondays through Fridays.
“In the end I’m a comic,” said Hall on Monday, according to the L.A. Times. “And nothing fits the talk-show mode like a stand-up comic.” Hall also acknowledged that while there are a lot of shows crowding the late-night realm (from big names like Letterman and Conan to the two Jimmys), he still believes “there’s a space for my show.”
The 56-year-old comic is known for his previous talk show, The Arsenio Hall Show, which premiered in 1989 and found surprising success, even against the widespread popularity of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. Hall is credited for bringing a younger, more diverse audience to late-night and greeted his audience with “The Dog Pound,” a trademark pumping of the fist whilst “woof”-ing. The mark of his show’s success was an episode 20 years ago in which then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton arrived and played the saxophone with the show’s band in a “Heartbreak Hotel” cover.
But the show faced competition from David Letterman’s new presence in 1993 and after Hall created tension from inviting controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the show was cancelled in 1994. In the years since, Hall has remained largely out of the spotlight while raising a family, until he decided to go on Celebrity Apprentice. The comic also considered Dancing with the Stars as a way of reintroducing himself to the public before vying for his late-night comeback. Hall admits, “I could have been on the plane with Cheryl Tiegs saying, ‘Why did I do this? I should have danced.'” Clearly the dog pounding former host made the right call.
According to ABC News, CBSTVD president John Nogawski is excited about Hall’s potential in today’s late-night world. “Years ago, [Hall] transcended time periods and attracted a crossover audience while bringing a fresh perspective to late night,” said Nogawski. “That same need in the market exists today as when we originally launched.” Adds Sean Compton (president of programming and entertainment for Tribune Broadcasting), “This is the only guy who ever gave Johnny Carson a run for his money.”
(Image courtesy of WENN)