By Lynn Elber
AP Television Writer
The driven matriarch of the Kardashian-Jenner clan is taking center stage with her own talk show, and Kris Jenner said she’s ready for the spotlight.
“I’m definitely living my dream,” Jenner said of today’s launch of “Kris,” a daily talk show getting a summer test run on Fox stations in a handful of major U.S. TV markets.
If Jenner proves her appeal with viewers, she can expect to join the swelling ranks of national daytime hosts that include reigning queen Ellen DeGeneres, newcomers Katie Couric, Steve Harvey and Bethenny Frankel and, on the fall TV horizon, Queen Latifah.
So what does Jenner bring to the talk-show table? As she explains it, a strong sense of what people want from her and “Kris,” airing for six weeks in Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Dallas and Charlotte, N.C.
“It’s a day and date show. I think the audience wants to talk about things happening right now in popular culture,” Jenner said. “It’s going to be lighthearted — I’m not into doing depressing stories or sensational stories or hateful stories.”
Her focus will be on pop culture, beauty, fashion, home design and fitness.
Jenner isn’t a novice in the talk-show game, with appearances and some guest-host gigs on programs including “The Talk,” “Today” and “The View,” said Stephen Brown, Fox Television Stations executive vice president for programming and development.
Viewers “have seen her sub in before [as a host], so they know she can do it. I know she can do it. That’s why we designed the set to look like her house. In essence, she’s inviting the audience into her home,” Brown said.
That’s the home made so familiar to viewers on the E! channel’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” the oversized window on the lives of Jenner’s big and growing family that includes new mom Kim Kardashian and North West, her daughter with Kanye West. But “Kris” won’t be an extension of the reality show that launched in 2007, Jenner insisted: “It’s absolutely about the viewer. It’s not a show about me and my kids.”
That doesn’t mean she’s shutting them out. Daughter Khloe Kardashian-Odom will be among the daily co-hosts who will drop by (Joan Rivers, Sean “Diddy Combs” and Kathie Lee Gifford are on the list), and there’s room for more members of the blended family.
Asked when North would make her public debut, Jenner said that remains to be seen. She said the new parents are “doing really, really great” and described the baby, born June 15, as beautiful.
Jenner is a good match for Fox’s lighter programming for young adult viewers and should pair well with other talk shows carried by Fox stations, including “The Wendy Williams Show,” said Bill Carroll, an expert in syndication market for Katz Media.