2:05pm PT by Lacey Rose
ABC Orders Alec Baldwin Talk Show, Plans Post-Oscars Sneak Peek (Exclusive)
ABC is prepared to spend its Sundays With Alec Baldwin, and it is hoping viewers will, too.
The network has ordered eight additional episodes of Baldwin’s hourlong talk show, which will be modeled after the interviews he has done for years on his popular WNYC podcast. In an early vote of confidence for the show, ABC plans to air a version of the pilot episode immediately following Sunday's Academy Awards telecast as a glimpse of what’s to come this year.
The first episode, which is being billed as a sneak peek rather than a season premiere, will feature in-depth interviews with Baldwin's longtime friend Jerry Seinfeld and Saturday Night Live castmember Kate McKinnon. Rather than turn up to shill a new film or TV show, both guests sat with Baldwin for wide-ranging conversations that touch on topics ranging from the state of comedy in the current political climate to their lives and experiences pre- and post-fame.
“I'm excited about this show and grateful to ABC for taking a chance on me in what is, admittedly, a crowded field,” Baldwin said Tuesday in a statement, alluding to a landscape that now includes a new batch of streaming talk shows as well as a growing collection of broadcast and cable ones. “I've enjoyed doing my podcast for WNYC and look forward to the challenge of doing a show on camera.”
Going forward, Baldwin will aim to include two interviews per show, letting them collectively stretch the entire hour, save commercial breaks. Like his podcast, which has featured lengthy conversations with everyone from Barbra Streisand to Anthony Weiner, Sundays With Alec Baldwin will line up actors, comedians, politicians and other newsmakers in the American pop culture sphere as guests.
“Alec’s intellect, wit and wealth of life experience afford him a voice and perspective we haven’t seen before in this format,” said ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey. “When we shot the pilot, we knew immediately we had something special … that showcases Alec as one of today’s most compelling conversationalists and highlights the type of intimate discussions that he has captured on his podcast for years.”
For the time being, ABC is staying mum on its timeline or future airdates for Sundays With Alec Baldwin. The Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning host intends to fit these interviews in as he does his podcast ones, in between a packed schedule that also includes film and TV projects; hosting ABC’s Match Game, now in its third season; and his ongoing stint lampooning President Donald Trump on SNL.
The talk show, filmed in New York, where Baldwin is based, is being produced for ABC by his company El Dorado Pictures, which inked a two-year first-look deal with ABC Studios last summer.
This is Baldwin’s second at-bat in the talk show space, having previously attempted a short-lived MSNBC series, Up Late With Alec Baldwin, which was rushed onto the air and ran for a brief period on Friday nights in 2013. That series, like this one, was designed to have richer conversations than are typically held in the late-night format, but rather than pair him with a news producer, as MSNBC did, ABC has teamed Baldwin with a late-night veteran in Jason Schrift, who served as Jimmy Kimmel Live’s longtime producer.