NBC set a date for its Maya Rudolph variety special/pilot. Revisiting the variety-show format, The Maya Rudolph Show special will air at 10 PM Monday, May 19. Andy Samberg, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Chris Parnell, Craig Robinson, Sean Hayes and Janelle Monae will appear; Raphael Saadiq serves as bandleader. Rudolph, David Javerbaum, Erin David and Dave Becky will produce, with Lorne Michaels serving as executive producer. When the NBC comedy series Up All Night — in which Rudolph co-starred with Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, did not go forward with the planned multi-camera revamp in February — Rudolph informed studios and networks that she wanted to do a variety show. NBC was among several suitors that began pursuing the project, leading to the pilot order. This marks the latest collaboration between Rudolph and Michaels, who also produced Up All Night. Rudolph, daughter of the late soul singer Minnie Riperton, was one of SNL‘s most popular cast members of the past decade. Her seven-year stint produced a string of memorable impersonations and original characters that often included music performances, including her recurring gigs as Beyoncé, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston and Barbra Streisand.
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