Late-night TV is about to get a lot more colorful. Comic actor Orlando Jones confirms to TV Guide Online that he's in serious discussions with the FX network to headline his own after-hours alternative to Jay and Dave. But despite reports, the former 7-Up pitchman insists the project "is not a talk show. We're talking about revamping late night."
Vague on specifics, Jones says the program will be a showcase for "urban" talent much the same way Arsenio Hall's early-'90s yakker was. "I feel like a lot of [African-American] artists don't have anywhere to go," he says. "I don't see Nick [Cannon, his co-star in the upcoming marching-band drama Drumline] sitting comfortably on Leno or Letterman, any more than I see Ludacris fitting into that pantheon."
To be sure, the 34-year-old former Mad TV star isn't dissing his future late-night rivals. "Obviously, they have a specific niche," he says. "I've gone on those shows. They do them extremely well, and I have a tremendous respect for all of them. I was a huge Johnny Carson fan. But I also feel like there's room in late night for a completely different perspective.
"I think late night should be for adults only, it shouldn't be for 13-year-olds," he adds. "It should be sexy and cool. That's really what I wish to accomplish with [my show]. If I feel like that's on [FX]'s agenda... and I can have creative control and do exactly what I want to do, then I will do it."