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November 23, 2014

'Wanda Sykes Show' Starts Off Strong -- Will Her Success Last?

by Bryan Enk, posted Nov 9th 2009 6:09PM

Variety reports that the much-hyped 'The Wanda Sykes Show' premiered on Saturday night on Fox with excellent ratings, averaging a 2.2 household/5 share in Nielsen's metered markets from 11PM to midnight. The show enjoyed success alongside the best-rated episode of 'Saturday Night Live' so far this season, which guest-starred Taylor Swift.

'The Wanda Sykes Show' has been heavily publicized as the first late-night talk show hosted by a gay black woman, and Ms. Sykes has certainly proved her comedy skills on shows such as 'The New Adventures of Old Christine.'

Variety reports that the much-hyped 'The Wanda Sykes Show' premiered on Saturday night on Fox with excellent ratings, averaging a 2.2 household/5 share in Nielsen's metered markets from 11PM to midnight. The show enjoyed success alongside the best-rated episode of 'Saturday Night Live' so far this season, which guest-starred Taylor Swift.

'The Wanda Sykes Show' has been heavily publicized as the first late-night talk show hosted by a gay black woman, and Ms. Sykes has certainly proved her comedy skills on shows such as 'The New Adventures of Old Christine.'

But the pilot episode of 'Wanda Sykes' has critics a little mystified. It's been criticized for its bizarre, haphazard structure, odd vignettes and unfocused politics -- Sykes is apparently stirring up emotions and making attacks on various public figures without making clear arguments or establishing a concise point of view. For now, there appears to be slightly more emphasis on experimental flash and chutzpah than on actual substance.

The Hollywood Reporter defends the show's strengths, calling it an "uproarious, biting and insightful look at politics" -- at least for the first half. Entertainment Weekly deems Wanda herself "terrific" but the show "awkward." Variety praises the "goofy humor" of Sykes' opening monologue but calls the rest of the show an "amateurish mess."


Ultimately, personality goes a long way, even if your show (for now) lacks focus, and Wanda Sykes has enough energy and personality for five talk-show hosts. Her manic approach may very well make 'Wanda Sykes' a hit for the rest of the season, even if it's just as a high-profile curiosity piece.

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