Sundance Channel to Air TV Version of "The Al Franken Show"
by Brian Brooks
Sundance Channel announced Monday that it will air a nightly TV version of "The Al Franken Show," the best-selling political humorist's weekday Air America Radio program. Sundance Channel president and CEO Larry Aidem and Air America Radio CEO Doug Kreeger said that beginning Tuesday, September 7th (and continuing for three months), "The Al Franken Show" will air Monday through Friday weeknights at 11:30pm, with replays at 2:30am and 7:00am. Sundance Channel's version of the show will be taped at the Air America New York studios during that day's broadcast.
In addition to being a best selling author, Al Franken is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer as well as a Grammy Award-winning comedian. He has written five New York Times best-sellers including "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right," (which also garnered him a Grammy for the spoken word album of the same title), "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot: and other Observations, and "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!" Franken also was one of the creators of popular late-night television show, "Saturday Night Live," where he received three Emmys for writing and one for producing. Co-hosting "The Al Franken Show" is Katherine Lanpher, who hosted Minnesota Public Radio's "Midmorning" for six years.
In its first three months on Air America, "The Al Franken Show" has become the second highest rated talk radio show in New York City, the nation's top market, where it is broadcast by WLIB. The television version of the show will be executive produced by Adam Pincus for Sundance Channel and Billy Kimball for "The Al Franken Show." Sundance Channel confirmed that it will air the program through November of this year.
"Sundance Channel prides itself on presenting the work of filmmakers and artists with distinctive voices and perspectives that might not easily find a place on commercial TV," commented Aidem in a statement. "The opportunity to present the legendary Al Franken's unique and highly entertaining voice in the premium TV environment was simply too good to pass up."
"Although this whole TV medium is new to me, I am thrilled that 'The Al Franken Show' will now be seen on Sundance Channel, even though it means I will have to wear clothing during the program," commented Franken in a statement. "Besides, 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' was one of my favorite movies."
Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is a venture between NBC Universal, Robert Redford, and Showtime Networks Inc. Sundance Channel operates independently of the non-profit Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival, but shares the overall "Sundance mission" to give a wider voice to independent artists.