As Ellen DeGeneres prepares to end her long-running talk show next year, the search for a host to fill the void reportedly has come to Chicago.
A series starring singer and Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson is being pitched to TV stations, Variety reports, saying Hudson already has taped a test show on the “Ellen” set in Burbank, California.
It’s unclear whether the show, if it comes to fruition, would tape on one of the coasts or in the Chicago area, where Hudson was born and continues to reside. “People have this perception that all celebrities live in Hollywood or New York,” she told the Sun-Times in August. “But, no, Chicago is my home and always will be.”
While hosting a talk show would be a new challenge for the multitalented Hudson, she has proven a charismatic personality as a guest and as a coach on “The Voice.” This year she starred as Aretha Franklin in the biopic “Respect” and sang “Natural Woman” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction of the song’s writer, Carole King (scheduled to air Nov. 20 on HBO).
A Hudson series would pair nicely with the hit talk show hosted by another “American Idol” alum, Kelly Clarkson, who will move into the time slots vacated by “Ellen” on NBC-owned stations including Chicago’s WMAQ-Channel 5 in fall 2022.
DeGeneres revealed in May that she will end her show next spring, wrapping up a 19-season run in daytime talk.