Arsenio Hall returns to late-night TV in 2013
Hall has signed a deal to front a syndicated late-night talk show set to launch in fall 2013, 19 years after his first late-night show ended. CBS Television Distribution and Tribune Broadcasting will produce the show and have already sold it in half of the country, including 17 of the 20 biggest markets. (Tribune Broadcasting is part of the Tribune Co., which also owns Zap2it.)
"Arsenio had a substantial following with his previous late-night show, and that same 18-34 audience is now right in the middle of the late-night core audience of 35-54," says John Nogawski, president of CBS Television Distribution. "Years ago, he transcended time periods and attracted a crossover audience while bringing a fresh perspective to late night. That same need in the market exists today as when we originally launched. We are looking forward to the same success with Arsenio's seasoned expertise and appeal in this genre."
"The Arsenio Hall Show" ran from 1989-94 and for a time rivaled "The Tonight Show." Hall notably scored then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton as a guest in 1992, during which Clinton played "Heartbreak Hotel" on the saxophone and helped repair his scandal-plagued image. The show ended after David Letterman moved to CBS in 1993, bumping "Arsenio" from a number of CBS affiliates, and FOX tried (with disastrous results) to launch its own late-night show with Chevy Chase.
Here's the opening to an "Arsenio Hall Show" from 1990, complete with vintage graphics, guest list and fist-pumping.