Debmar-Mercury and the Fox Television Stations will join forces this summer to test “Father Albert,” an hour talk show starring former Catholic priest Father Alberto Cutie, Broadcasting & Cable reports.
Cutie, known as Father Albert or Padre Alberto, is now an Episcopal priest after leaving the Catholic Church over theological differences and because he wanted to get married. He is now married to Ruhama Buni Canellis. Father Albert has hosted other shows, including the Spanish-language talk show “Hablando Claro con el Padre Alberto,” and earlier this month published his second book, "Dilemma: A Priest’s Struggle With Faith and Love.”
"Father Albert’s wide cross-over appeal, incredible story, encouraging advice, open mind and charismatic personality make him a natural fit for daytime television,” Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein said in a statement. “We are excited to provide English-language audiences with the opportunity to discover why Father Albert has struck such a chord over the past decade with millions of fans throughout the U.S., Canada, Spain and Latin America."
Debmar-Mercury most recently tried out a new talk show starring Fran Drescher, giving the show a three-week test in December before the company decided not to continue the project. Marcus appeared on a panel at NATPE on Monday, where he reaffirmed the company’s commitment to testing new programs.
Father Albert is known worldwide as the first priest to host a secular daytime talk show, the story says. “Padre Alberto” was televised by Telemundo in 1999, and three years later Cutie hosted the weekly talker “America en Vivo” on Telemundo International. He has also appeared on the Spanish-language network EWTN.
His self-help book "Real Life, Real Love," published in 2006, was a best-seller in the Spanish-language market and earned Cutie the nickname "Father Oprah."