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It’s a great day for America everybody. Craig Ferguson may not care that he isn’t the host of The Late Late Show, but for fans there has been a significant lack of the off-the-cuff, tell-you-what-he-thinks comedian on television. That looks to be changing as his production company just got the greenlight for a new series. Ferguson will be the host of Join or Die a new series for the History Channel which, believe it or not, will actually deal with history.
According to a press release sent out by History’s parent A+E Networks, 16 episodes of the new show have been ordered. Called Join or Die, the new show will be a panel discussion show where Ferguson will talk about a different topic in American history with a combination of scholars, celebrities, and, via social media, the public. Who was the greatest Founding Father? What was the biggest presidential campaign flop? These and other topics will be discussed in a 30 minute format that will combine Ferguson’s trademark iconoclasm with his own knowledge of history. The series is being produced by Green Mountain West, Ferguson’s own production company.
The title comes from the slogan coined by Benjamin Franklin to attempt to unite the disparate colonies prior to the American Revolution. It’s also the tattoo that Ferguson got when he became a US citizen in 2008. In his memoir American on Purpose he told the story not only of his career but of his voyage to becoming an American citizen. He probably has a better working knowledge of much of American history that the rest of us, having studied it much more recently. This should make him a more than adequate host when discussing historical realities with scholars. We already know he can hold his own talking with celebrities. The series also promises extensive digital pieces, so expect to see a lot of YouTube material bouncing around social media in order to help promote the show. This will likely also be how the creative team plans to bring in the public to interact with the show.
Producing Join or Die will put Ferguson on double duty as he’s still also hosting the syndicated game show Celebrity Name Game. There had also been talks about getting the late-night veteran back into a regular talk show, but that idea hit a number of stumbling blocks and appears to be dead.
It’s going to be great to see Craig Ferguson back on TV in a format that will showcase his strengths so well. No premier date was mentioned so we’ll have to play the waiting game for a while, but if you’re a fan of Ferguson, history, or both this should be a great show.