Instead of looking at off-the-shelf syndicated programming, Raycom Media decided to tailor its own, a half-hour talk show featuring two comediennes. Me Time with Frangela features the team of Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton, who have been friends for more than 20 years. Ken Reiner, Raycom’s programming VP, sees the show as an opportunity “to really look at something that’s new, unique, fun and dynamic.”
The program is the latest move in Raycom’s strategic initiative to develop its own, original multiplatform content.
Ken Reiner, Raycom Media’s programming VP, thinks the show will energize “a part of the syndication community which is lacking in the talk space … because of the consolidation in our business. We felt that this is efficient and economical for our television station group that can really go-ahead and be an anchor in our daytime lineup.”
The show is Me Time with Frangela and features the team of Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton, two comediennes who have been friends for more than 20 years.
Reiner sees the show as an opportunity “to really look at something that’s new, unique, fun and dynamic.”
According to a description on the Me Time with Frangela website, the show taps into Frangela’s 20 experience as “comedians, pop culture pundits, actresses, radio/podcast hosts, writers, Tweeters and Facebookers to headline an interactive 30-minute talk show exploring and debating the headlines, topics and characters of the day.”
In a raucous interview I had with Reiner and both members of Frangela, Callier and Shelton came across as personable, energetic, original and real.
Callier says the show “is really about bringing back funny conflicts that you are going to talk about with your friends that you take a break with. You know what I’m saying?”
Shelton says “it’s just fun, and supportive and positive, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
What makes Me Time different from other talk shows is their comedic point of view says Callier, and everything is fair game — news, stories, information, trends.
“It comes through our perspective; it gets Frangelized, which is hysterical and funny and fun.”
There are in-studio sketches and on-location skits mixed in with interaction with the audience and people at home. If they’re texting, talking or tweeting, expect it to be ‘Frangelized’.
Reiner says it’s that interactivity that attracted Raycom to Frangela.
“It’s really about the interactive nature of our guests and viewers, being able to talk to that community, that really complements this in the large scale markets that we are in.”
There will be guests on the show, but don’t expect Beyoncé.
“I mean would we say no if Beyoncé wanted to come on. No,” says Shelton.
Mostly, the guests are expert in their fields.
“Like this morning, we are talking about body sizing in the fashion industry. We are bringing on a plus-sized super model who is an expert in this. So we are going to ask the questions that you really want to know.”
Reiner says Raycom keeps a very aggressive production schedule for Me Time with Frangela, three to four episodes a day for airing on the Raycom stations. But Reiner says TV is just one of several platforms viewers can engage with Frangela.
“We know how important it is to be on every platform that you can make available to your audience. And that’s what this show is about, from long-form linear episodes to short clips and segments to original segments on both YouTube and our social media. It’s really about having a 24/7 opportunity for viewers to really engage with these two wonderful comedians.”
“We are here to bring laughter and comedy back because the reality is, we all need it,” says Callier.
“We all need some levity in our lives. You know what I’m saying, Paul?”
I do, Frances, I really do.