If you think Jennifer Hudson relies on a morning yoga class or an extra-large cup of coffee to get her ready to host her new daytime talk show—appropriately titled The Jennifer Hudson Show—think again. Instead, what you might see, especially if you live in the Los Angeles area, is the recently crowned EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony award winner) casually riding her bike around the neighborhood.
“My bike is right outside, and as long as I get to just roll around a little bit and have music in my ears so I’m in tune with myself, that’s it for me,” she tells Glamour of her morning routine. “Riding my bike just makes me just feel free. I’m the happiest.” And while she’s not opposed to a little coffee pick-me-up, the recent Tony Award winner (for coproducing the year’s best musical, A Strange Loop) says she gets the bulk of her energy from one place: You.
“I love energy, and that’s what drives me. It just fills me right up,” she says. “That’s the fuel.”
Plus, as Hudson knows, it’s the audience who’s gotten her to this point in her career, starting with the third season of American Idol in 2004, where she placed seventh in the competition. (Fantasia Barrino won the competition that year.)
She became a household name over a few months’ time, and then a mere two years later took home the Oscar for best supporting actress for playing Effie White in the musical Dreamgirls. Two years after that, she released her first studio album and went on to win the Grammy award for best R&B album in 2009.
But with all the professional success in Hudson’s career, she’s also lived a very full personal life with extreme highs and lows. And so, with The Jennifer Hudson Show, she just wants to entertain and hopefully, for an hour each day, help you have a better day yourself.
“If you want to escape, it’s an escape. If you want to twirl around and dance, I want you to be able to do that. I want you to feel comfortable and at home,” she says. “I want you to feel when you leave, like, ‘Oh, that’s just Jennifer. That’s who she is.’ I want it to be a celebration because everybody has been on my whole career journey with me.”
So what should you know about J.Hud’s new talk show? Here’s our guide, straight from the woman herself.
What is The Jennifer Hudson Show about?
The daytime talk show will feature celebrity interviews, topical stories, community heroes, viral sensations, and music. Think a cross between Kelly Clarkson and Drew Barrymore's shows. According to Warner Bros. Television, “Hudson will bring fun, uplifting, and empowering conversations to the forefront, shining a light on extraordinary stories, talents, and passions. The Jennifer Hudson Show will be a destination to laugh, learn, and feel inspired.”
Where can I watch it and when?
Weekdays starting Monday, September 12, 2022. It’s syndicated, which means it won’t air on the same network in every city. Here’s a great interactive guide to find the time and channel in your city.
Is there a preview?
Ask, and ye shall receive!
Who is J.Hud’s first guest?
Simon Cowell! She will reunite with the former American Idol judge for their first sit-down conversation since she placed seventh on the competition series in 2004. In fact, while Hudson’s team was working behind the scenes to secure Cowell as her first guest, she told Glamour, “I would love Simon Cowell to come on the show. I would love to sit down with him.” Wish granted!
And speaking of the coincidental celebratory (birth)day, Hudson tells Glamour, “It was not planned this way. It happened to just fall on my birthday. So I feel like it’s a sign from God and the universe and or something, like confirmation. Just being able to have my show air on the day is a birthday party. But maybe they’ll roll me out a cake.”
As for future dream guests, Hudson lists Cardi B., Drake, Nicole Kidman, The Rock, and Andre 3000 as well as B.J. Armstrong from the Chicago Bulls (whose NBA playing career spanned from 1989 to 2000). “We’ve got the same birthday, so when I was a kid, in my mind, he was my husband. A lot of these moments are living little childhood dreams, and I have the platform where I could be like, ‘You know I have a EGOT, right? And you know I have a talk show? So won’t you come and say hello?’”
And here’s a fun fact, but Hudson’s middle name is Kate, meaning her full name is Jennifer Kate Hudson. She doesn’t think she's ever met actor Kate Hudson, but she’s always thought about it, and now might be the time. “Growing up I used to always say she has half my name,” Hudson says with a laugh. “So we should have that conversation. And then Jennifer Jason Leigh has my name and my brother’s name because my brother was named Jason. So when I would think of those two, I would be like, ‘Jennifer Jason, like, that’s me, Jennifer. Then Jason.’ I used to always say that growing up.”
With so many daytime TV options, why should I watch?
Hudson says she just wants to lift your spirits and “come into everyone’s living rooms and Jennifer-ize them.” What does that mean exactly? “Some of my friends call me the Send-Off Kid,” she says. “I call it encouragement because we celebrate everything and everyone here. We’re going to encourage you in whatever your passion is.”
She always wants to help you find your “superpowers” and be 100% who you are. “Don’t let nobody tell you no different. You be who you are to the fullest. And if nobody else is cheering you on, I’m cheering you on. I don’t like anybody to be pressed and stressed. We can’t be our best selves that way, and things are going to happen. We going to figure it out, and we going to get through it. And we going to move on with the day and we going to be fabulous. And that’s just that.”
What other daytime talk shows will influence The Jennifer Hudson Show?
Hudson immediately points to the power of Oprah for bringing households together for an hour each day. “I remember her being that staple. I remember when Diane Warren was on the show, and she was playing for Celine Dion, and I was like, ‘Wow, one day I would love for her to write me a song.’ And now she’s written me many of those songs. So watching that show and dreaming up my dreams that I’ve been blessed to achieve is what inspires me. And then the icing on the cake with the Oprah show being in my hometown, Chicago, and being proud of that. Like, Wow, that’s here in my city.”
And while Hudson doesn’t specifically cite The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the executive producers on The Jennifer Hudson Show are Ellen’s award-winning trio of Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, and Corey Palent. Needless to say, they know a thing or two about bringing a successful show to life.
What will the set look like?
Hudson wants the space to feel lived-in, so she says the first step to accomplishing that is to “Jennifer-ize my space.” In Hudson’s world, that means pulling elements from her own home, like having instruments in each room, and having them be part of the set. “It’s telling you things,” she says, referring to staples like a piano, a microphone, a guitar, etc. “So the set will feel like that too. And it will feel warm because I like warmth. I call it mushiness. I want you to feel mushed up. I might make the guests so comfortable they might fall asleep on the couch!”
How can I get tickets to the show?
If you live in Los Angeles or are in town visiting, you can request tickets on The Jennifer Hudson Show’s website. You also much be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (All guests will also undergo rapid testing upon arrival at the studio, and if cleared, won’t need to wear a mask in the audience.)
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour senior West Coast editor and author of the upcoming book The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series (October 11, 2022). You can follow her on Instagram @jessicaradloff14.
Originally Appeared on Glamour