Phil2 hasn’t performed since the show’s finale last month. He has been recovering from kidney surgery since shortly after he beat Jessica Sanchez to become the latest Scruffy White Guy with Guitar to take the Fox show’s top prize.
NBC also will be well represented on the broadcast, with appearances from “Smash” actress Megan Hilty and “The Voice” Season 1 winner, Javier Colon. ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” host Tom Bergeron is hosting this year’s “Capitol Fourth.”
Even Turner Classic Movies is getting a plug: This year’s show will feature a musical tribute to Gene Kelly, including a medley of songs from “Singin’ in the Rain” and “An American in Paris” — eight days before TCM throws its “TCM Presents ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ 60th Anniversary Event,” in which the remastered classic will be screened at nearly 500 theaters across the country, and about two weeks before TCM-parent Warner Bros. releases a “Singin’ in the Rain” 60th anniversary three-disc limited and numbered gift set.
CBS TV Distribution (a.k.a. CTD, and formerly Paramount Domestic TV) made it official Monday — after two decades, Arsenio Hall is returning to late-night talk TV.
CTD was the producer of Hall’s old syndicated talk show. It was on that program, which ran from 1989 to 1994, that then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton famously played “Heartbreak Hotel” on the sax — making it safe, even hip, for serious presidential contenders to make non-serious, image-honing appearances on talk shows in daytime, afternoon and late-night.
Here’s how much times have changed: When asked Monday who would be his dream guest to end all dream guests, Hall told the celebrity suck-up show “Entertainment Tonight”: “You can’t go wrong if you get Jay-Z, Beyonce and the baby.”
Hall’s original talk show also made “Woof! Woof! Woof” an entry in the Top 10 Most Annoying Ever Pop Culture Shouts of Approval.
On the new show, CTD is partnered with Tribune Broadcasting — one of CBS’s partners in the CW network. The show is set to launch on 17 Tribune stations, including Washington’s WDCW (Channel 50).
Hall’s show is sold in all Top 10 markets — Washington being No. 8. Word that Hall and CTD were going to partner again for a late-night talk show surfaced about the time that Hall became a finalist on NBC’s latest edition of “Celebrity Apprentice.”
CTD President John Nogawski noted in Monday’s announcement that Hall’s old show had a strong following among 18- to 34-year-olds, now the late-night core audience of 35- to 54-years-olds.
“Years ago, he transcended time periods and attracted a crossover audience while bringing a fresh perspective to late night,” Nogawski said. “That same need in the market exists today as when we originally launched.”