FOX has reached a deal with Wanda Sykes for the the Emmy-winning comic to host a new Saturday late-night series.
Starting in the fall of 2009, Sykes’ series will air in the one-hour slot on Saturdays formerly occupied by “MADtv.”
“Wanda is a great alternative voice to the current late-night landscape,” says FOX Entertainment President Kevin Reilly. “She has the perfect personality for FOX, and we look forward to reinvigorating Saturday night TV with her.”
FOX stops short of calling Sykes’ new venture a talk show, saying that it will feature commentary on topical issues and heated panel discussions with recurring personalities. It also will give Sykes the opportunity to leave the studio for field segments.
An Emmy winner as part of the writing staff on “The Chris Rock Show,” Sykes had a hard time getting traction for her most recent FOX series, 2003’s “Wanda at Large,” which was cancelled part-way through its second season with a number of episodes left unaired.
“I”m married, so this was a great excuse to get out of the house on a Saturday night,” says Sykes in a statement. “Yes, my relationship with FOX hasn”t been the best, but if Rihanna can go back to Chris Brown, I can go back to FOX. Oprah tried to talk me out of it, but I think FOX has changed.”
Sykes, who was recently chosen to host May’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, can currently be seen on CBS’ “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”
This is the second big win for late night TV diversity in recent weeks. TBS just announced that starting in November, George Lopez will host a new 11 p.m. talk show Mondays-through-Thursdays.
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