The Fox Television Stations will air Warner Bros.’ RuPaul, starring RuPaul Charles, in a limited three-week run starting June 10, said David Decker, executive vice president, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and Frank Cicha, executive vice president, programming, Fox Television Stations.
The show will air on select Fox stations, including WNYW New York and KTTV Los Angeles with more to be announced in coming weeks.
“Part of the appeal of doing limited series is the freedom it allows to try something really different. That’s this show,” said Cicha in a statement.
The Fox Television Stations have made a point of doing as many limited-run series as possible to offer viewers fresh programming in all dayparts year-round while also testing talent and concepts to see what might play in national syndication.
This fall, Fox is launching new game show 25 Words or Less starring Meredith Vieira, which first aired as a test last summer. This summer, the group also is testing a new talk show starring Jerry O’Connell that’s produced by Debmar-Mercury and Funny or Die. Later this fall, the Fox stations will test entertainment magazine strip Central Avenue, produced by Debmar-Mercury and Will Packer Media.
Warner Bros. had been shopping RuPaul to station buyers for several months, but had been unable to launch it nationwide in the face of competition from such shows as NBCUniversal’s Kelly Clarkson; Disney’s Tamron Hall; Sony Pictures Television’s Mel Robbins, which is launching on Tribune-owned stations; and 25 Words or Less.
RuPaul will feature Charles’ modern take on the traditional talk format, showcasing his aspirational message via celebrity and newsmaker interviews. He’ll also offer beauty, make-up and style segments.
“Now more than ever before we need a global voice that will help everyday people navigate this unique time in history,” aid Charles in a statement. “Not only do I want to be a part of that conversation, I want to help facilitate it.”
RuPaul will be executive produced by Jill Van Lokeren, who previously produced Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” book tour as well as The Oprah Winfrey Show, along with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato and Tom Campbell for World of Wonder. The series will be produced by Telepictures, a unit of Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television.
Charles is best known for his VH1 series RuPaul’s Drag Race, for which he has won four primetime Emmy awards. RuPaul’s Drag Race has aired for 11 seasons and spun off several series, including RuPaul's Drag U and RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars.
Charles also has been a featured host on series Skin Wars: Fresh Paint, GoodWork, Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaul, and is serving as a judge on CBS’ global competition series, The World’s Best, hosted by James Corden.
RuPaul is not Charles’ first talk show. In 1996 he and Michelle Visage hosted The RuPaul Show on VH1, taping more than 100 episodes. The duo also co-deejayed a morning drive-time radio show on WKTU New York. Charles and Visage currently host weekly podcast RuPaul: What’s The Tee?
He’s also worked as an actor, appearing in such movies as Brooklyn and ToWong Foo, Thanks for Everything. He’s currently working with Sex and the City’s Michael Patrick King to produce an original comedy for Netflix called AJ & The Queen in which Charles will star.
He has published three books: GuRu in 2018; Workin' It! RuPaul's Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style in 2010; and Lettin' It All Hang Out in 1995.
As a recording artist, RuPaul has co-written and co-produced fifteen studio albums to date, including Foxy Lady in 1996, Champion in 2009, Glamazon in 2011, Born Naked in 2014 and American in 2017.
Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.
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