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Jennifer Hudson stops in Dallas to chat about her new talk show. Guess who her dream guest is?

Jennifer Hudson
Evan Agostin
Ap Invision
Jennifer Hudson, co-producer of "A Strange Loop," winner of the award for best new musical, poses in the press room at the 75th annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 12, 2022, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The star of "Dream Girls" and "Respect" will venture into daytime TV in September with "The Jennifer Hudson Show."

Eighteen years ago, “American Idol” introduced us to Jennifer Hudson. While she placed only 7th in the competition, the powerhouse singer has since become the youngest woman to win all four top entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

Hudson was in Dallas Wednesday, in a suite at Hall Arts Hotel, to announce her next venture, a daytime talk show called “The Jennifer Hudson Show.” It debuts on her birthday, Sept. 12, on FoxTV.

Who would be her dream guest for the show? Longtime fans may do a double take to hear it’s Simon Cowell, the abrasive judge from “American Idol.” She relishes the idea of turning the tables.

“I think it would be so interesting,” Hudson said. “ ‘Idol’ was 18 years ago so why not? I think people will be interested who've followed my journey for 20 years. See us sit down and see us have a conversation. I think that would be awesome to do.

“And then it’s like uh-huh! Now Simon you’re sitting on my couch! So he's on my wish list, among many others.”

Hudson knows talk shows from the other side of the couch. She’s been a guest for Oprah, Barbara Walters, and Stephen Colbert. She’ll draw from that experience, but add her own twist.

I think what will set it apart is for me to simply be me,” she said.

“You know, I don't want to be someone that’s just reading the cue card, but speak off of my interests and evolve from there. And this will be what will be the driving force of what the topics are or what the make-up is like. And it'll be far more organic.”

Guests won’t all be famous. Hudson said she wants to open doors to new talent.

“I've been blessed enough, okay. Who else can we give a platform to? Because as most of us know, I didn't when I started out, it took someone to give me a chance. So I want to be that person for someone else.”  

You can also expect real stories.

“I want to hear from everyday people, as well as my peers and different celebrities, because we're all living life, you know, and everybody has a story. And I want to experience new things. I want to bring things up to date in the times that we're in.” 

She’ll also draw from her own experiences, from the Baptist church pews of Chicago to award show podiums.

“You know, I’ve seen the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows and everything in between. Nothing is exempt. It’s not like we’re all flying high and every day is sunny. No, there are real days too and no one can relate to that more than me.”

The show will be taped in front of a live studio audience in Los Angeles.

Hudson is excited to work in front of a live studio audience in Los Angeles.

I want to treat that like I treat my performances. Yes it’s an ideal structure, but it has room to breathe in that moment. I love to be present in the moment,” she said.

Her overall goal for the show?

“I want to be that social bridge as well. Bridge people together: the classes, the status, the lifestyles like, honey, we are all living. I don’t care what you do, who you are. We are all human and we’re all experiencing life.”

She also had some words of wisdom for young dreamers:

“Create your own door, you know, it may not exist because that’s your vision. They’re not supposed to see it, you are…And do it for the love no matter what you do, because that’s how I’ve gotten this far by being driven by my passion and following my heart and what I want to do”.

“The Jennifer Hudson Show” will premiere Sep. 12 on FOX. 

Solomon Wilson is KERA's Marjorie Welch Fitts Louis Fellow. He focuses on covering racial equity, women’s rights, socioeconomic disparities and other evolving issues of social justice in our community.