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RuPaul Charles Sets Summer Talk Show Test With Fox Stations

RuPaul Charles is ready to take on daytime TV.

The “RuPaul’s Drag Race” host has signed a deal with Telepictures and Fox Television Stations for a three-week test run of a talk show strip to begin June 10.

“RuPaul” is billed as a blend of celebrity and newsmaker interviews mixed with a focus on empowerment and aspirational messages for everyday viewers. World of Wonder, the production entity behind Charles’ long-running “Drag Race” reality competition series, is producing with Telepictures. Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution will handle the show.

“Now more than ever before we need a global voice that will help everyday people navigate this unique time in history,” Charles said. “Not only do I want to be a part of that conversation, I want to help facilitate it.”

Jill Van Lokeren (“The Oprah Winfrey Show”) and World of Wonder’s Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato and Tom Campbell are exec producers.

“RuPaul” will air in select Fox markets. The station group has tested numerous series concepts and stars with limited summer runs in recent years. Among the shows that graduated to national rollouts from a Fox test is the entertainment newsmagazine “Page Six TV,” now in its second year.

The test runs give the Fox O&O stations much greater opportunity to experiment in real time with prospective strip programs in an extremely challenging environment given the fragmentation of the daytime audience.

“Part of the appeal of doing limited series is the freedom it allows to try something really different. That’s this show,” said Frank Cicha, exec VP of programming for Fox Television Stations.

Charles has hosted “Drag Race” for Logo and now VH1 since 2009. He’s also the writer and star of the upcoming Netflix comedy series “AJ and the Queen.”

“Drag Race” has become such a mainstay that it has yielded an annual live tour featuring the show’s stars and contestants. The Season 11 trek begins May 26 in Los Angeles.

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