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Maya Rudolph’s show on NBC is a Big Step for the Network’s poor racial history

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Reported By Liku Zelleke

NBC has set has set the date for Maya Rudolph’s new variety show. It will be aired at 22:00 on Monday, May 19th.

The pilot of “The Maya Rudolph Show” will have a cast of Andy Samberg, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Chris Parnell, Craig Robinson, Sean Hayes and Janelle Monae.

In case you’re wondering what all the fuss is about and why the announcement, then you must have not heard about Maya Rudolph (highly improbable) or her comedy series “Up All Night” in which she co-starred with Christina Applegate and Will Arnett.

Well, apparently when the show didn’t go forward with a planned multi-camera revamp, Rudolph informed studios and networks that she wanted to do something different and go with a variety show.

The first studio that wanted to back her was NBC and they dealt on it, all the way to a pilot order. This time around, she will have the chance to again work with Lorne Michaels, who had produced “Up All Night“.

Rudolph is the daughter of soul singer, Minnie Riperton. Her father composer, songwriter and producer Richard Rudolph, is an Ashkenazi Jew, a unique combination which must have been a factor that contributed to her unique talent and character.

Rudolph was a star, and in a class of her own, on “Saturday Night Live“. She had been with SNL for over 7 years, during which she garnered a loyal fan following, created some of the most unforgettable original characters and was perfect in her unforgettable impersonations.

Apart from acting, Rudolph is known for her capability of throwing her voice around. On SNL she has entertained her viewers with performances impersonating stars like Beyoncé, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston and Barbra Streisand – a lineup that would make anyone wonder why she didn’t opt for a singing career instead of an acting one.

Rudolph receiving this opportunity as a black woman is also significant.  Just a few months ago, her former show, “Saturday Night Live,” was under fire for rarely hiring or promoting African American women.  So, this move is a symbolic one for NBC.

Anyone not looking forward to her pilot would sure be aiming to miss a treat.