NightTime host Andy Bumatai enjoys a laugh with actor Don Stroud during production rehearsal. NightTime will air Mondays through Fridays at 9:35 p.m. on K5 The Home Team and rebroadcast at midnight on CW digital channel 93. CLICK FOR LARGE
'NightTime' prime time for host Bumatai
Talk may be cheap, but don't let television executives know that. Talk shows have become a mainstay of television's evolution, with the "Tonight Show" being the gold standard. A couple of local TV producers are hoping some of that luster will rub off on the Hawaiian market.
"NightTime" premieres at 9:35 p.m. Aug. 6 on KFVE, bumpering the "K5 News at Nine." It is billed as a "big-budget nightly entertainment talk show," airing five nights a week, and repeating at midnight on KHON's CW digital 93 channel.
The anchor is veteran entertainer Andy Bumatai, the smart guy of local-style comedy. "Hey, I was Hawaii's first stand-up comedian and now I'm the first sit-down talk-show host," said Bumatai.
"NightTime" will be taped with a live audience at the Honolulu Design Center, right behind street-level windows at the corner of Piikoi and Kapiolani. If you're stuck in traffic there, you'll become part of the set's background. The plan is to film three shows on Monday and two on Thursday. "It's an economy of scale, we're just priming the pump right now," said Bumatai. "Eventually, we hope to tape every night at 7:30 for a 9:35 airing."
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"Hey, I was Hawaii's first stand-up comedian and now I'm the first sit-down talk-show host," says Andy Bumatai, who is set to host a weeknight talk show on KFVE beginning Aug. 6. CLICK FOR LARGE
"We've been busy tuning and tweaking the set, coordinating things," said producer Jim Bryan. "It's a mammoth undertaking, just getting the buzz out!"
A new half-hour show every weeknight, later expanding to an hour? They'll have to be on their toes right out of the starting blocks. Is there enough talent floating about in Hawaii every week to keep it fresh?
Bryan is confident. "And we'd like to position ourselves like Johnny Carson and discover new talent -- Hawaii has many great young filmmakers, for example," said Bryan.
"There's no other way to promote local events and local views in prime time. It's to the credit of KFVE and KHON, who are cross-promoting and airing the show, that we're not on at 3:30 a.m. We become a real option for viewers."
"Right now, what are your options if you're promoting a show?" said Bumatai. "There's the newscasts, there's Perry and Price on Saturday morning -- that's about it."
Bryan credits general managers John Fink of KHNL/KFVE and Joe McNamara of KHON/CW. "Despite their rivalry in the local television market, they've worked together to help us make 'NightTime' an option for as many viewers as possible."
Bryan has worked in radio and television for more than 35 years -- some of that time spent with Don Imus and Tom Snyder. He and Bumatai had been working together on an NBC comedy pilot that got bagged last year during a corporate restructuring, and created "NightTime" when the other project went poof.
"It's obvious that we all grew up with the 'Tonight Show' format. Talk is something that television does very well," said Bryan. "We'll be the same format. Like Leno does from Hollywood and Letterman does from New York, we'll do from Hawaii. It will be as much like the style of those shows as possible, but on a local level. 'The Tonight Show,' Hawaiian Style!"
Is that your logline?
"Let's say that's our working mission statement. It's never been done to this level in Hawaii before," said Bryan. "We're really going for the chat with entertainers and celebrity types. Of course, as we head into the political season, I'm sure stuff like that will be discussed. But if Mayor Mufi Hannemann is on, we'd rather have him sing a song than talk about mass transit."