Arsenio Hall is a ’90s late night icon, but it took five years for him to close his deal to return to the airwaves with his new talk show.
“I went everywhere with this,” he told Oprah Winfrey of trying to get back on television during his appearance on Sunday’s “Oprah’s Next Chapter” airing Sunday at 9/8c on OWN.
To illustrate the passing of time, “The Arsenio Hall Show” host remembered discussing the comeback while attending a party along with rapper, Sean “Diddy” Combs and, wait for it, Michael Jackson.
“One of those parties,” he explained. “Diddy said, ‘You’ve got to come back.’ And I’m like, ‘I want to. But it ain’t that easy.’ And the reason I bring up Michael’s name [is] because Michael’s gone now and that’s how long it’s been.”
Of course, Winfrey had to ask whether the late King of Pop believed Hall should return to TV.
“Michael was like, ‘You should have never left,” Hall recalled. “And I know he’s watching.”
“The Arsenio Hall Show” launched in September. In its first week, it averaged a 0.7/3 in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic — a virtual tie for the top late-night talk-show spot with “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” which averaged a 0.7/4. It also had the best first week among syndicated talk shows in the 18-49 demo in seven years — since the September 2006 premiere of “Rachael Ray.”
Watch a preview of Hall on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” above.