Set to debut during the 2017-2018 season, Showtime at the Apollo is a re-imagining of the classic talent showcase series.
“We all had such a blast on the two specials that aired earlier this season, that we thought it really deserved being a weekly event,” said Harvey. “But our mission is a little different this time around. Instead of just putting on a great show, we’re going to do that and find the next great comic and the next big music star. That’s what the Apollo is all about. My roots are on that stage and I can’t wait to be there every week, looking for great talent. Who said you can’t go back home again?”
Featured in the series are elements from the Apollo’s legendary Amateur Night – the long-running, live talent competition, now in its 82nd year – which provides a platform for up-and-coming artists to perform in front of the toughest audience in the world. The Apollo audience is famed as one of entertainment’s most boisterous and brutally honest, and those amateurs who don’t win them over must endure the wrath of this notorious crowd.
The Apollo Theater launched the careers of many iconic artists, including James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five, D’Angelo and countless others. Its venerable stage show, Amateur Night at the Apollo, has long been revered by artists as a transformative experience during which up-and-coming talent feel the power of the legendary performers who have come before them, while audience response can help make or break a career.
In each episode, Harvey will be joined by some of the biggest stars in comedy and music. Artists featured in the two Showtime at the Apollo specials that aired earlier this season on FOX include John Legend, Ashanti, Ja Rule, Busta Rhymes, Doug E. Fresh, Chaka Khan, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Flo Rida, Rakim, T.I. featuring Meek Mill, Quavo and RaRa, Bell Biv Devoe, En Vogue and Jodeci; and comedians Anthony Anderson, Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, George Lopez, Jay Pharoah, Mike Epps and Gabriel Iglesias.