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Queen Latifah Debuts Her own Talk (Hoping to Step in Oprah's Shoes)


Ever since Oprah Winfrey relinquished her rule over the daytime talk-show kingdom in 2011, the ritual question every fall has been, can anybody take her place?

This season, Queen Latifah is making a play for the crown. Backed by a glossy cast of producers including Hollywood couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, she will sing, dance, chat and cook her way onto the syndicated daytime scene with a one-hour variety show airing five days a week on CBS and other local stations starting Sept. 16, 2013.

Her plan is to shun the classic chat or single-issue formula. Instead, she'll preside over a daunting format: a multi-topic show running with celebrity interviews, human-interest stories, comedy skits, music, fashion and cooking. She could sing with Pink one day, then pair an up-and-coming soul singer with a rapper the next. First-week guests are set to include Mr. Smith, John Travolta, Jamie Foxx, Sharon Stone and Jake Gyllenhaal.

"We felt like there was space for someone with a strong voice and a strong point of view who can wear 15 hats," says executive producer and showrunner Corin Nelson, who launched "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" and "Chelsea Lately."

"Lah is so versatile, she can relate to people from 3 to 80 years old," says Jada Pinkett Smith, who has known Queen Latifah since her 20s when they co-starred in the 1996 bank robbery drama "Set It Off."

Goodluck with the show QL!

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