It’s “Showtime at the Apollo” — again!
The renouned talent showcase, filmed at the ancestral Harlem theater, will return to network radio for the first time in almost a decade on Dec. 5. at 8 p.m. on Fox.
“This will really give us an eventuality to deliver the Apollo and bring the knowledge to a new era of viewers and music lovers who may never have seen (the original) ‘Showtime,’ ” says Apollo Theater boss and CEO Jonelle Procope, who is also portion as an executive writer on the new show.
The two-hour special, hosted by Steve Harvey, is a retrospective that will hold on the theater’s storied heritage, embody clips from the strange “Showtime at the Apollo” and new pledge acts.
The latter will be a big partial of the show as it was the heart and essence of the strange program and a partial of the theater’s birthright for some-more than 82 years.
Procope calls Amateur Night “the world’s strange talent show,” — a predecessor to programs like “American Idol” and “The Voice.”
Amateur Night helped launch the careers of artists like James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five and D’Angelo.
Other bold-faced names who can snippet their roots back to that theatre include, Lauryn Hill (who got booed by the assembly and then won them over), Destiny’s Child (it was a big moment for Beyoncé) and Ella Fitzgerald.
“So many of the biggest live performances happened on that stage,” says Reggie Hudlin, an executive writer and the show curtain for the revival.
“Showtime at the Apollo” was a renouned syndicated radio show, which aired on NBC from 1987 to 2008 — in New York it came on after “Saturday Night Live” — and featured music, comedy, dance and other acts.
When the acts were good, the assembly went wild. When they were bad — the performers were booed and left the theatre in shame.
“It always was the first talent foe to concede audiences to plainly correlate with the acts,” says Procope. “The assembly is as much of a partial of the show as the performers.”
Harvey was its horde from 1993 to 2000.
“Steve is simply the ideal horde for this,” says Hudlin.
The radio eventuality is one of two Apollo museum specials the network has planned.
A second is approaching to air in 2017, and if they’re successful the show could open the doorway for some-more says Procope. “It’s a good way for us to hang the toe in the water,” she says.
“Mostly this is a possibility to bring the Apollo knowledge into the digital area and onto social media,” she says.
“I meet people all the time who tell me they’ve never been to the Apollo, but used to watch ‘Showtime at the Apollo’ — so the thought that we can reintroduce this code to a whole new organisation of viewers is really great.”
The show itself has had several incarnations and many hosts, including Whoopi Goldberg, Rick Aviles, Sinbad, Mark Curry, Steve Harvey, Mo’Nique, Christopher “Kid” Reid, and Anthony Anderson. Kiki Shepard served as a co-host from 1987 until 2002.
Behind the scenes, a long-running brawl with the Apollo Theater Foundation finally caused a difference — and the strange producers of “Showtime” left in 2002 to start a rival program called “Showtime in Harlem” — that was actually filmed in Brooklyn.
That chronicle of the show was after changed to California and renamed “Live in Hollywood.” It lasted one deteriorate in 2003 with Shepard as host.
A third chronicle of the show, “Apollo Live” aired on BET from 2012 to 2015 with comic Tony Rock as the host.
“We’re happy to be back,” says Procope.