TBS enters late-night game with George Lopez

George LopezTBS is throwing its hat into the increasingly crowded late-night ring with a new talk show starring actor-comic George Lopez.

The project represents Lopez’s return to series TV after his self-titled ABC's sitcom ran for six seasons. The as-yet-untitled series will launch in November, airing at 11 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, its second half-hour running against NBC's "The Tonight Show" and CBS' "Late Show."

Lopez plans an "outdoor street-party atmosphere" featuring celebrity guests, live music and comedy acts. The show will also encourage audience members to interact with Lopez and his guests.

"George Lopez is a special talent, with an everyman appeal that makeshim uniquely positioned to be the next great late-night host," saidMichael Wright, exec vp, head of programming, at TBS. "George and TBS are going tochange the late-night television landscape and bring a brand new energyto the talk-show genre by giving it a street-party atmosphere."

Added Lopez: "If change can come to the White House, then change can come to late night. Yes I can!"

Lopez's analogy is apt, since every performer enters late-night pledging they're going to change the genre but, like with politics, they end up conforming to fit the system. With more late-night talk series than ever planned for this fall, it's dispiriting how many of these hosts have essentially the same program -- Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Carson Daly ... their personalities each have their own quirks, their sets have their own colors, their music acts their own styles. But the formats are fundamentally the same, like tract homes in Irvine. One wonders how many more guests on couches that the entertainment marketplace can withstand. 

The new program is from 2.2 Prods., paraMedia Inc. and Telepictures Prods., in association with Warner Horizon Television, with Lopez executive producing along with Jim Paratore ("The Ellen DeGeneres Show," "The Bonnie Hunt Show").

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