Mo’Nique, the actress and comedienne who won a best supporting actor Oscar for her work in the 2009 big-screen drama Precious, is working on a syndicated talk show with ABC that could launch as soon as September 2014.
The show, expected to be aimed at the daytime audience, has not yet been given a firm go. She most recently had a BET talker, The Mo’Nique Show, which ran from 2009-11. She also wrote Skinny Women Are Evil: Notes of a Big Girl in a Small-Minded World (and a companion cookbook).
If she aspires to be the next Oprah, Mo’Nique will have a lot of life experiences to share. She has spoken publicly about being molested as a child as well as her open marriage with her husband. She has a son from her first marriage and twins with her current husband.
Like Oprah, the 45-year-old Mo’Nique has had to deal with weight issues. In April, she said she lost 85 pounds. She has shared her diet and exercise program with her followers on Twitter. For next fall, announced talk show launches include Meredith Vieira and Marie Osmond. Fox is also expected to decide later this month on whether to green light a talk show with Kris Jenner and one called The Real, a younger-skewing multi-cultural version of The View. Mo’Nique would also likely face two other African American talk hosts next fall, Steve Harvey and Queen Latifah.
Sources at ABC insist Mo’Nique is not intended as a replacement for Katie, the talk show starring Katie Couric, which is in the second year of its two-year contract with ABC-owned stations and others around the country.
Born Monique Angela Jackson, the Baltimore native first came to fame as the star of the UPN’s The Parkers, which ran from 1999-2004. She has also appeared on late-night talk shows and has done her stand-up comedy act on shows including Showtime at the Apollo and Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam. She made a documentary in 1997, I Coulda Been Your Cellmate, about women who are incarcerated, which showed her comedy act at a Ohio prison.
She had roles in a number of feature films including Domino, Phat Girls and Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins before her breakout performance in Precious.
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