Former Atlantans Boris Kodjoe, Nicole Ari Parker test talk show waters

Boris and Nicole

By RODNEY HO/, originally filed Tuesday, June 30, 2015

In recent years, it's been tough to start a successful day-time talk shows unless you happened to be part-time Atlantan Steve Harvey or part of a panel (“The Chew,” “The Talk,” The Real”).

Now former Atlantans Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker are jumping into the fray as a married couple.

Fox TV is  airing a test run of 20 episodes of "The Boris and Nicole Show" over four weeks starting Monday, July 6 in 10 markets, including the Fox 5 affiliate in Atlanta WAGA-TV at 1 p.m.

Several shows, including “The Wendy Williams Show” and “The Real," have used a summer test run as a way to showcase talent before local TV stations nationwide commit to them. Both are now big hits. Fox TV, in different markets, is also testing another talk show featuring a married couple: actor and rap star Ice-T and his wife Coco.

"When you're matching people up you have to rely on chemistry," said Stephen Brown, Fox TV's executive vice president for programming and development to the Hollywood Reporter. "That's one of the bigger reasons we're going with a married couple — because they have instant chemistry."

If the show does well enough, Fox TV will take it national in the fall of 2016.

Kodjoe and Parker, who moved to Los Angeles from Atlanta five years ago, met on the set of Showtime drama “Soul Food,” which aired from 2000 to 2004. They've been married 10 years.

"I think it's our turn to torture our celebrity friends," joked Parker, who has been on the receiving end of talk show queries in the past.

Guests the first week include actor Alfonso Ribeiro, “Dancing With the Stars” dancer Cheryl Burke, comic Cedric the Entertainer, producer Melissa Rivers and actor Michael Ealy.

"We kind of know what it takes to get a great interview," Parker said.

Kodjoe, who also stars in the Fox comedy "The Last Man on Earth," added: "The learning experience comes in when we talk about listening rather than talking. Also, we have to connect with the camera. As actors, we always avoid the camera. Now we have to talk directly to the camera."

They've been thinking about a talk show for a few years: "We always felt we were meant to connect with people."

What they plan to talk about are typical subjects on daytime talk: pop culture, relationships, love, parenting, cooking and fashion.

"We will also celebrate every day heroes that make a difference in their community," Parker said.

The daytime talk show audience is aging. According to Nielsen, 71 percent are now 50 or older vs. 64 percent in 2011. Blacks watch daytime at a disproportionately high level, which may explain why shows hosted by African Americans have tended to thrive in recent years.

Celebrity talk shows in the past few years that haven't lasted more than two seasons include those led by Ricki Lake, Katie Couric, Queen Latifah, Bethenny Frankel and Anderson Cooper.


"The Boris and Nicole Show," 1 p.m. weekdays for the month of July, Fox 5

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 28: Actors Nicole Ari Parker (L) and Boris Kodjoe attend the 2015 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for BET)


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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.