The New First-Run Daytime Entertainment Show, “Harry,” Set to Debut in National Syndication in Fall 2016
Comedy Duo, The Stangel Brothers, To Serve As Executive Producers
New York, NY – October 13, 2015 – NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution has sold the new first-run entertainment show “Harry” to the FOX Television Stations. The new show, hosted by Harry Connick, Jr., will debut in September 2016 in national syndication; it was announced today by Ed Swindler, President, NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution and NBC Broadcast Operations.
“Harry” will be hosted by multi-award winning musician, singer, composer, actor and legendary live performer Harry Connick, Jr. and will air on the Fox owned TV stations in 17 markets. It also is currently being sold to other leading station groups across the country for its debut in national syndication next fall. Justin and Eric Stangel, both former Head Writers and Executive Producers of the “Late Show with David Letterman,” will serve as Executive Producers for “Harry.”
"I'm a lucky guy. I get to be a husband to a wonderful wife, a father to three incredible daughters, and an entertainer to the most amazing fans. And now, I’m honored to be able to put smiles on people’s faces on a daily basis,” said Harry Connick, Jr. “Working with the amazingly talented and hysterical Stangel Brothers is a dream come true. ‘Harry’ will be an hour filled with fun, music and laughter. Fasten your seat belts - it's gonna be one heck of a good time!”
“We could not be more excited to partner with Harry Connick, Jr. on this multi-faceted entertainment show. We believe Harry will emerge as one of daytime TV’s most distinctive, talented, relatable, and consistently funny hosts,” said Swindler. “The Stangel Brothers’ distinguished writing and producing achievements are second to none. They will add an engaging, upbeat, and comedic energy to this multi-layered program.”
Frank Cicha, SVP of Programming for FOX Television Stations added, “We really look forward to Harry Connick, Jr.’s next hit. In looking at the competition, we felt this was the right time for us to add a program like this to our mix.”
Drawing inspiration from the family-friendly variety shows of the past, “Harry” will reflect the unparalleled hosting and entertainment skills of Harry Connick, Jr.’s varied career in music, film, television, and Broadway. His goal is to bring the party back to daytime by delivering entertainment and laughter through a variety of segments--from comedic man-on-the-street interviews, live musical performances and parodies, to hilarious stunts and audience participation and surprises. “Harry” is a unique variety program for the new millennium aimed at entertaining the modern daytime audience. The Stangel Brothers are Executive Producers along with Harry Connick, Jr. and Ann Marie Wilkins. “Harry” is produced and distributed by NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution.
About Harry Connick, Jr.: Harry Connick, Jr. has exemplified excellence in every aspect of the entertainment world. He has received recognition with multiple Grammy and Emmy Awards as well as Tony Nominations for his live and recorded musical performances, his achievements on screens large and small, and his appearances on Broadway as both an actor and a composer.
Harry began performing the music of his native New Orleans as a pianist and vocalist at the age of five. He moved to New York at age 18, signed with Columbia Records and three years later achieved multi-platinum success with his contributions to the “When Harry Met Sally…” movie soundtrack. Over the past three decades, he has established himself as a musician, singer and composer par excellence, a legendary live performer and one of the best-selling artists garnering sales of over 28 million records. His newest CD featuring all new songs, “That Would Be Me” will be released on October 23rd.
In the 1990s, while building on his meteoric rise in the music world, he became an on-screen presence with roles in films such as “Little Man Tate,” “Copycat,” and “Independence Day” and as a romantic lead opposite Sandra Bullock in “Hope Floats.” His voice-over talents were featured in “The Iron Giant” and “My Dog Skip” and he continues to appear in films, most recently in “Dolphin Tale” and its sequel.
Harry began making his mark in the world of television at the turn of the new millennium. He was a lead actor in ABC’s “South Pacific” and then scored a recurring role in the groundbreaking sitcom “Will & Grace.” Harry also brought his music to the small screen with his “Harry for the Holidays” Christmas special on NBC and his Emmy-winning, PBS specials “Only You in Concert” and “Live in Concert on Broadway.” In addition, “The Happy Elf,” based on a Harry original Christmas song was animated for an NBC Television Special. In 2013, he joined the judging panel of “American Idol” alongside Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban.
The Connick realm also expanded to include Broadway. He received Tony nominations both for his debut work on Broadway as composer and lyricist for the musical “Thou Shalt Not” and for his debut as the lead actor in the Tony-winning revival of “The Pajama Game.” He has also adapted “The Happy Elf” for children’s theater.
In addition, Harry is a go-to artist for important events. He was honored to perform at the recent papal mass of Pope Francis at Madison Square Gardens as well as at Pope Benedict XVI’s Yankee Stadium mass in 2008. He has also performed at major sporting events such as the 2008 NBA All-Star Game and sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl XXVI.
Despite his busy career, Harry has always found the time to be charitable and has done some of his most important work in his efforts to help New Orleans rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He, along with friend Branford Marsalis, conceived of “Musicians’ Village,” a community in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Musicians’ Village provides homes for Katrina-displaced musicians and its focal point, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, is a teaching facility for children, a performance hall and recording studio for musicians and a gathering place for the community. Harry’s contributions to the post-Katrina effort have been acknowledged with a Redbook Strength and Spirit Award, an honorary degree from Tulane University, a 2010 National Building Museum honor and the 2012 Jefferson Award for Public Service.
But a career filled with honors and accolades has not led Harry Connick, Jr. to slow his creative pace; instead it inspires him to find different avenues of expression as he embarks on his new venture as host and executive producer of his own nationally syndicated entertainment show, “Harry.”
About The Stangel Brothers: Justin and Eric Stangel got their first, joint professional television job in 1996 working on the final season of the FOX animated series “The Tick.” From there, they were hired as comedy writers for several daytime shows on the USA Network while also writing freelance jokes for Norm MacDonald on “Saturday Night Live’s” Weekend Update.
In 1997, the Stangel Brothers were hired as Staff Writers for “Late Show with David Letterman.” They rose through the ranks and were promoted to Head Writers in 2000 and then Executive Producers in 2001. They worked on the show until 2013, having won two Primetime Emmy Awards amidst over twenty nominations. They also hold the title as having served as the longest tenured Head Writers in the “Late Show’s” history.
About FOX Television Stations: FOX Television Stations is one of the nation's largest owned-and-operated network broadcast groups, comprising 28 stations in 17 markets and covering over 37% of U.S. television homes. This includes seven duopolies in the top 10 markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Houston; as well as duopolies in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Orlando and Charlotte.
About NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution: NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution is responsible for the production, sales and distribution of NBCUniversal products to broadcast television within the United States. The division develops and produces first-run programming and distributes these shows, along with off-network content, in broadcast syndication. Current first-run broadcast syndicated programming includes Steve Harvey, The Meredith Vieira Show, Access Hollywood, Access Hollywood Live, Maury, The Jerry Springer Show, The Steve Wilkos Show and Crazy Talk. In addition, the division distributes the retro television broadcast network, Cozi TV and weekend syndicated series On the Money and Open House. Current off-network programming includes Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and The Office.
For NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution:
Vice President, Communications
For FOX Television Stations:
SVP, Corporate Communications