*The primetime airwaves might still be unfortunately underrepresented, as far as African-Americans go (Blair Underwood’s promising Ironside and Nicole Behairie’s excellent Sleepy Hollow, which just got a second season, aside), but there is good news on the small screen, where the talk show game has had a promising wave of color injected into America’s living rooms. There are the old stalwarts – Steve Harvey, of course, entering into another huge season and Wendy Williams – and they’ve been joined by two more intriguing names, both familiar for different reasons.
Queen Latifah’s gone from making great music and getting Academy Award nominations to hosting a very good daytime talk show and, of course, there’s the rather amazing return of Arsenio Hall to the airwaves. Hall’s show seems to have picked up its prime from twenty years ago – getting better-than-average ratings and really scoring some excellent musical guests. Even better? There might be yet another promising show joining their ranks – it looks like Mo’Nique is planning a return to the daytime airwaves, after her previous BET show ended.
That means that we could easily have two prominent African-American women of color – one with an Oscar nomination and another one with an actual Oscar – having a daily presence on the airwaves. While it’s unfortunate that this might take away from their big-screen careers, hearing them talk every day might even be better – isn’t it great to have a daily dose of these funny people (Ellen DeGeneres and Harvey, for example) rather than the randomness of a movie career?
Let’s all hope that these shows keep going and their audiences keep growing, and that they attract even more great African-American entertainers back to the daily audiences. After all, wouldn’t it be great to see Kanye West with his own program?