To anyone who has been following the rumor mill over the past several months, this news comes hardly as much of a surprise: Alec Baldwin and MSNBC are getting into business together. The former “30 Rock” star, who has long been outspoken about politics and tends to favor the network’s left-skewing commentators, is going to start hosting on Friday nights a series entitled “Up Late with Alec Baldwin.” The show will begin airing in October, and will fittingly run from 10-11:00 p.m. Eastern time.
Based on what we are hearing now, don’t necessarily be strayed away from the show thinking that it will be loud, abrasive, or stuffed full of opinions being shoved down your throat. As Baldwin says in a statement, it will have more in common with his “Here’s the Thing” podcast, which features insightful interviews with a variety of different people in all fields:
“After two seasons of my WNYC podcast, I’ve developed a fondness for hosting a show that involved talking with smart, talented and engaging people in every imaginable field. I’m grateful to MSNBC for helping me bring a similar show to television.”
From our perspective, Baldwin is a fine interviewer, but like Piers Morgan, Larry King, Oprah Winfrey, or anyone else in this field, much of his weekly retention is going to be based on the quality of guest. We personally consider Baldwin to be a pretty big name, but he has a difficult timeslot here to conquer given the amount of other things viewers (especially in the news network 25-54 demographic) have to do on Fridays.
Baldwin’s show does make him the first “30 Rock” cast member to land another regular gig on TV. Tina Fey is in the process of developing a variety of projects, while Tracy Morgan is currently working on something with FX.