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Remember back in April during the whole NBC late night shake-up, we heard that Alec Baldwin might be getting his own late night talk show, possibly taking Carson Daly's timeslot? In case your memory's fuzzy, there were reports that Baldwin would be getting his own late night half-hour interview show. But then, a couple days later Last Call with Carson Daly was renewed, and any audible chatter on the subject of Baldwin's show ceased about as quickly as it started. Well, it looks like NBC found a place for Alec Baldwin after all, though it's not on NBC. The network's cable affiliate MSNBC announced today that they've picked up Up Late w/Alec Baldwin.
The "w/" isn't laziness on our part, the shortened "with" in the title of the series is actually how it's listed, and I'm going to guess that'll come through in whatever logo they come up w/ for this series. MSNBC says that Baldwin will host a new weekly "current events and culture talk show," which will air Fridays from 10-11 p.m. ET. Up Late w/Alec Baldwin will start airing next month (October).
Given the shift to a cable news channel, we might expect something a bit more political for this series, though it seems the goal is something a bit broader, likely tapping into Baldwin's experience hosting his WNYC podcast Here's the Thing, during which he interviews people from various backgrounds, be it politics, the entertainment industry or elsewhere.
“After two seasons of my WNYC podcast, I've developed a fondness for hosting a show that involved talking with smart, talented and engaging people in every imaginable field,” said Baldwin. “I'm grateful to MSNBC for helping me bring a similar show to television.”
Considering Baldwin's history in the entertainment industry, and his active participation in politics over the years, he certainly has the professional and life experience to aid him in a project like this. While it's not quite a daily talk show on a major network, a weekly hour-long talk show on a major cable news channel is certainly a step in a new direction for the actor, whose recent steady job was playing the role of Jack Donaghy on NBC's 30 Rock, up until the series wrapped up earlier this year. He has a couple of feature projects in the works, but between his podcast and now Up Late w/Alec Baldwin, it looks like he's aiming to do more hosting in the future.
For a sample of Baldwin's hosting abilities, here's one of his Here's the Thing podcast, in which he sits with musician Billy Joel: