DL Hughley Brings His Take Back to Late Night

Actor/Comedian and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host DL Hughley will again enter the late night talk-show arena with The DL Hughley Show, premiering March 18 on TV One. Hughley and co-host Jasmine Sanders will tackle issues of interest to the African-American community. Hughley is no stranger to late night, having hosted CNN’s DL Hughley Breaks the News in 2008 and Comedy Central’s Weekend at the DL in 2005. Hughley and Sanders recently sat down with Multichannel News to discuss the new show and the late-night programming landscape.

DL Hughley

DL Hughley

MCN:Why did you want to get back into late night, and what makes you believe you’ll be successful this time around?
DL Hughley: I’m excited to have an opportunity to do what I love to do, and that’s talk sh-t from my perspective. What we’re trying to do every day is to be as prepared and clear as possible, and we’ll see how that translates to television.

MCN:What should people expect to see?
Jasmine Sanders: I think they will see how the madness comes together. I’m anxious for viewers to get to see a 360-degree look at [Hughley]. I’ve never seen anyone like this who could actually be funny, but also be serious and have very poignant moments all in the same scope of the show, which is pretty amazing to me.

MCN:Results have been mixed for late-night talk shows featuring hosts of color who deal with topics for a diverse audience. Why haven’t such shows had more success on television?
DLH: People have tried different incarnations of it and [networks] have said this person would be great for this or that woman would be great for that show, but our show is organic. I’ve always wanted to get into the late-night talk show, and have done it for CNN and for Comedy Central, but I’m older now and I’m more experienced. I’ve also done my radio show five times a week for six years, so there’s a level of comfort that I didn’t have before.

MCN:Has the increase in shows featuring people of color in front of and behind the camera paved the way for this one?
DLH: Certainly it’s not unique and not taboo now — I think people have been exposed to it to a greater or lesser degree, and [the increase of diverse shows] also gives us a lot of places to mine. The medium of radio for some people used to serve as an entrée into a world that you didn’t know or hadn’t experienced. I want our TV show to feel a lot like that … I think the only way to be interesting to people is to be interested in them, and we do our very best to make sure that we’re talking about the things that people are talking about because we’re genuinely interested.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.