In Depth

Fox Sets Saturday Night Wanda Sykes Series

Fox is getting back into business with Wanda Sykes, readying a new Saturday latenight series to be hosted by the comic.

The network is expected to make the deal official as early as Wednesday, a person familiar with the situation said. Ms. Sykes' show will premiere this fall and will feature a mix of pre-taped field reports and in-studio panel discussions on the events of the day. The show will feature a roster of rotating panelists.

Ms. Sykes' last major gig for Fox was as the star of the short-lived sitcom "Wanda at Large," 19 episodes of which were produced over two seasons. The series premiered in March 2003 in a post-"American Idol" timeslot, where it attracted a healthy audience. But the network then moved the show to Fridays in the fall, where it quickly died.

Nonetheless, Fox executives believe Ms. Sykes-- who's had more success as a co-star on "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm"-- will work in an unscripted format.

Ms. Sykes' new Saturday series fills an hour left open by the imminent departure of "Mad TV" from Fox's schedule.

The network isn't saying what the new show means for Spike Feresten's Saturday night series, according to Broadcasting & Cable, which first reported the deal with Ms. Sykes.