‘The Jennifer Hudson Show’ Producer Promises Music – Just Not How You Might Expect (Fall TV Preview)

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Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy winner (yes, she’s an EGOT) Jennifer Hudson heads to daytime television on Monday, with the launch of “The Jennifer Hudson” show. And according to Andy Lassner, one of the show’s executive producers, what the “American Idol” alum brings to her take on talk TV is a universal relatability.

“I think what’s important with her is that she appeals to everybody, because she has a story of perseverance,” Lassner, who spoke to TheWrap on behalf of the EP team that also includes Mary Connelly and Corey Palent for our Fall TV Preview, said. “There’s something about her that no matter how you know her, you root for her. … Jennifer Hudson is someone that the public roots for. They want to watch her succeed.”

And they’ll be able to keep doing so when Hudson’s show launches this coming Monday with a reunion for the singer/actress/host who will sit down to interview her first guest – original “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell. It’ll be the first time the pair have sat down together for a conversation since she exited “Idol” in seventh place during Season 3 in 2004.

“I think it was a very full circle moment for her, because, I think in a lot of ways, a lot of people somehow saw that as like ‘mean Simon,’ and I think you’d be surprised to know – without giving too much away – there’s a lot of gratitude there,” Lassner, a former EP for “Ellen,” shared. “He’s the first person that she interacted with in a very public way; he gave her real direction, which by the way, was good direction in some ways and in other ways, maybe not. But whatever it is, it motivated her and it helped her.”

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Launching on Fox Television Stations, Hearst Television, Sinclair Broadcast Group, TEGNA, Nexstar Media Group, Scripps Media and Gray Media Group among others, “The Jennifer Hudson” show will include celebrity interviews, cover topical stories and community heroes (“she is so interested in other people” Lassner says) and feature viral sensations. It aims to have uplifting conversations, and yes, will involve – because it’s J-Hud – music.

“It’s very important to her that we use this show as a platform to introduce you to new talent, to encourage existing talent and help them in any way she can and music is part of her life,” Lassner said. “The question is, ‘Will she sing?’ And … it’s in everything she does – music. It won’t be in the conventional way necessarily where it’s like, ‘Now I’m going to perform this from ‘Les Miserables.’ This is a woman who, in the middle of conversation, sings. And, it’s just so much a part of who she is that in my opinion, the spontaneous singing that she does is like nothing I’ve ever seen.”

“The Jennifer Hudson” show will branch out digitally, as well, as producers look to cultivate aspects of the show aimed at younger audiences that linear television isn’t as popular with.

“We are going to have a digital presence. And one of the things is in order to succeed today in your show, you want to create viral moments,” Lassner said, noting the show plans to feed “all the different outlets.”

“We want to go to people, we want to be where they’re watching,” he added.

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Hudson enters a daytime solo-host TV talk space that already includes Tamron Hall, Drew Barrymore and another “Idol” alum –  Kelly Clarkson (with two new shows debuting shortly – one from “Queer Eye’s” Karamo Brown, and another from former “View” host Sherri Shepherd).

“I think it’s very sweet that there’s a comparison just because I know that they’re friends,” Lassner said of “Idol” phase 1 alums Hudson and Clarkson. “People go, ‘Is it going to be competitive?’ And it’s like, if we’re talking from just a business standpoint, competition these days is everybody. I’m competing against the internet; I’m competing against late night; I’m competing against video games. It’s not the way it used to be just with linear television. We’re competing with everybody to get their attention. So it’s bigger than just daytime. But I’m also a 35-year veteran of daytime television. So I root for all of them.”

“The Jennifer Hudson Show” is produced in Los Angeles by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Telepictures and distributed in national syndication by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.  Executive producers are Connelly, Lassner, Palent, Hudson, Lisa Kasteler Calio, Graehme Morphy and Walter Williams III, with Shani Black as co-executive producer.