A talent showcase that was a fixture on TV for more than two decades before it went off the air in 2008 is being brought back as a weekly series by Fox. The broadcast network announced plans today to air “Showtime at the Apollo” as a one-hour series premiering in the 2017-18 season.
The show will be hosted by Steve Harvey, who also did the honors when Fox aired a couple of “Showtime at the Apollo” specials earlier this season. The network says the series version will be a reimagining of the classic show.
Said Harvey: “We all had such a blast on the two specials that aired earlier this season, that we thought it really deserved being a weekly event. But our mission is a little different this time around. Instead of just putting on a great show, we’re going to do that and find the next great comic and the next big music star. That’s what the Apollo is all about. My roots are on that stage and I can’t wait to be there every week, looking for great talent. Who said you can’t go back home again?”
The Fox announcement adds: “Featured in the series are elements from the Apollo’s legendary Amateur Night — the long-running, live talent competition, now in its 82nd year — which provides a platform for up-and-coming artists to perform in front of the toughest audience in the world. The Apollo audience is famed as one of entertainment’s most boisterous and brutally honest, and those amateurs who don’t win them over must endure the wrath of this notorious crowd.”
The Apollo Theater is credited with helping to launch the careers of major stars including James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five.
“Its venerable stage show, Amateur Night at the Apollo, has long been revered by artists as a transformative experience during which up-and-coming talent feel the power of the legendary performers who have come before them, while audience response can help make or break a career,” Fox adds.