Queen Latifah’s talk show debuted just one day ago, on Monday, Sept. 16, but it’s already a big success, ratings-wise. The first episode, which featured an appearance by actor John Travolta and a performance by Will Smith’s daughter Willow Smith, posted the highest-rated daytime television premiere of the year, and the second highest-rated premiere since 2009, when “The Dr. Oz Show” made its debut.
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“It’s incredibly exciting to see such a positive response to the show we’ve been crafting for the past year,” Executive Producer Corin Nelson said in a press release about “The Queen Latifah Show.” “And it’s just the beginning of how we plan to showcase all of Latifah’s talents and the quality of guests and entertainment this show will give viewers every day.”
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Indeed, the rapper/actress has big plans for her return to daytime TV. Upcoming guests include Jamie Foxx, Sharon Stone, and Jake Gyllenhaal. And while the premiere’s high ratings are certainly good news, Queen Latifah is more concerned with putting out a good product.
“I’m not trying to throw myself out there to get ratings,” she told the Associated Press recently. “I’m really more interested in building something that’s entertaining to people.”
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She also wants the show to reflect who she is as a person and as a host. “I learned I really have to be true to myself,” she said of the lessons she took from her previous stint on daytime TV from 1999 to 2001. “I want to go out there and do something that feels like me every day and is something I’m comfortable with and excited about.”
That may mean testing the boundaries a little. “I’m naturally a bit edgier than typical daytime, but I kind of want to push things a little bit further, as far as I can respectfully, within the daytime space,” she told the AP. “I want more out of daytime TV. I want more choices, I want more heart, more humor.”