By Nellie Andreeva
Sony Pictures TV‘s The Queen Latifah Show is now a go for a fall 2013 launch. The daily syndicated talk show is executive produced by Latifah, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.
The Queen Latifah Show will feature celebrity interviews, human interest stories, comedy, pop culture and musical performances. It is expected to showcase Queen Latifah’s talents, blending comedy and music into her hosting duties.
Shortly after the dust settled on this fall’s syndicated daytime talk show launches that failed to produce a breakout hit, Sony TV began conversations with station groups about the Queen Latifah talker, garnering interest from multiples places. I hear negotiations went down to the wire with the CBS and NBC station groups. The sale comes exactly a year after Sony TV, Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere’s Flavor Unit and Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment closed a deal to develop a daytime talk show for the Oscar-nominated actress to host. In May, Corin Nelson was tapped as executive producer.
Q and A with Queen Latifah
Tell us a little bit about your show.
My show is going to be an eclectic mix of interviews with real people as well as celebrities – people who are fun and fascinating. It will be a program you can tune into to feel good every day. I also think it will inspire people who watch it. I know I’ve certainly been inspired by a lot of the stories we plan to share.
How did it all come together?
My partner Shakim and I have a long history with Will and Jada Smith, and we have always wanted to find a way to do something big together. We all thought this was the perfect project, and since Will and Jada’s company Overbrook has a relationship with Sony, we’re excited to be doing it with them as well.
Tell us about your company Flavor Unit and also about your history with the Smiths.
It’s definitely a family affair. Shakim and I actually grew up together. My Mom was his teacher and we started Flavor Unit together back in 1993. We have been friends with the Smiths for years. I was on “Fresh Prince” with Will, and Jada and I were in a film together called “Set it Off.” We have a long history and I definitely feel like we grew up together in Hollywood.
If you had to describe the show to someone with three adjectives what would they be?
Fun, inspirational, authentic.
Who’s designing the set for your show?
Lenny Kravitz and his design firm Kravitz Design are designing the set – and I can’t wait for people to see it! Not only is Lenny an incredible musician, but he and his team are amazing designers, too. The set will feature unusual textures and classic compositions, as well as bold architectural features and an elegant mix of materials using refined metal screens, warm woods and organic marbles. It’s going to be beautiful.
Have you had the chance to sit down with any experienced daytime talk show hosts to seek their advice?
I have talked to a number of different friends who have done it, including Ellen, Oprah, and Jimmy Fallon. They’ve all been terrifically helpful and encouraging.
So what will set your talk show apart from the others?
If you could have any two people who ever lived on your show, who would they be and why?
Martin Luther King Jr. and my grandmother. Dr. King was such an incredible thinker and he was so far ahead of his time. I would love to have the chance to sit face-to-face with him and ask him how he would respond to the kind of challenges we face today. And I would love to interview my grandmother, so I could give audiences the chance to hear her advice and inspiration firsthand.
What are you most excited and most nervous about?
I am excited to hear people’s stories and share in their journeys. I am nervous because it is always overwhelming to start something new.
Who has been the most influential figure in your life?
“The Queen Latifah Show” launches September 16, 2013. Hosted by multi-talented entertainer Queen Latifah , the show is produced by Flavor Unit, Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television. Corin Nelson is executive producer. “The Queen Latifah Show” is cleared on major station groups around the country, including the CBS Television Stations.
Lenny Kravitz’s design company to create the sets
Sony Pictures Television announced that they have partnered with the Lenny Kravitz led design firm, Kravitz Design Inc. to create and style the set for the new, daytime entertainment talk show The Queen Latifah Show, premiering this fall. The show will film in front of a live audience in a newly refurbished soundstage on the Sony Studio lot in Culver City, CA.
“It’s a thrill to be designing the set for The Queen Latifah Show,” said founder Lenny Kravitz. “This is the first time Kravitz Design has created an environment for television, which makes it a very exciting project for us. The set reflects Latifah’s personality and spirit and will be an inviting, comfortable space for her guests, studio audience and viewers. I never thought of designing for television but, I suppose growing up in a TV studio watching my mother has come full circle.”
“Lenny is not only an incredible musician but an incredible designer, and I almost can’t believe he is designing the set for my show,” said host Queen Latifah. “I can’t wait for people to see it.”
“Lenny and his Kravitz Design team are designing a set that exceeds everything we ever thought possible for daytime television,” said Executive Producer and Overbrook Entertainment’s Jada Pinkett-Smith. “Their creation blew us away!”
For nearly two decades, Lenny Kravitz has been widely recognized as a creative visionary, both as a successful musician and a style icon known for influencing generations. Kravitz’s desire to expand his creative energies beyond making music led him to found Kravitz Design Inc. (KDI). The firm provides commercial and residential design services, as well as specializing in product development and branding. Located in New York’s Soho neighborhood, KDI’s interiors and products are reflective of Kravitz’s eclectic global lifestyle.
The Kravitz Design aesthetic translates well to a diverse set of circumstances through its use of superior materials, unusual textures, and classic compositions. The Kravitz designed set for The Queen Latifah Show will include bold architectural features and employ an elegant mix of materials including refined metal screens, warm woods, and organic marbles. These design elements together with an eclectic mix of furnishings create a warm and inviting environment.