Is there really a hope for the variety-show genre to be brought back on TV? Apparently, NBC is willing enough to give it a shot with Maya Rudolph as host. The long-dormant format, which has itself best remembered in singing competition results shows and late-night gabfests, is going to get a shot during the Winter Olympics next month, as Deadline reports that the network has given a green light to a pilot, which will air around this time as a special.
Just based on the sort of lead-in that it will have alone, you have to at least imagine that NBC could do pretty well with an hour of Rudolph. But, the question that we wonder is whether she’s going to be enough of a draw to really get eyeballs on the screen. We’ve always been a fan of her comedy, especially on “Saturday Night Live,” but the ratings for her recent series “Up All Night” were atrocious before it ended. Even though she was not the reason why that show didn’t work out, we don’t know how much of a following she has outside of the diehard comedy world.
The real thing that the show can hope for above all else is simply that it is amazing, and can built word-of-mouth through great reviews enough that NBC has confidence to bring it back for more. Rudolph specifically turned down an opportunity to be in a number of network pilots in order to make this dream come true, and with the help of an old friend in Lorne Michaels, she will have at least every opportunity possible to make this succeed. Plus, let’s be honest: NBC really needs a hit that makes you laugh these days. They couldn’t even make a hit with Michael J. Fox, who we long thought was the most bankable star out there.
What do you think of NBC giving Rudolph her own variety show, and do you think there is any hope at all that she is going to succeed with this? Be sure to share your thoughts below! We’ll have more here (including a premiere date) when it becomes available.