Q: Over the years and every now and then, "Showtime at the Apollo" is televised. Is there a chance it might make a comeback this year?

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Because of its somewhat unusual production process, there's always a chance with "Showtime at the Apollo," but at the moment it's not a good chance.

The variety-competition show had an incredible 21-year run in syndication, from 1987 to 2008, had a brief revival on BET in the early 2010s, and then an even-briefer revival on Fox in 2018. That Fox revival was cancelled after a season, and there are no plans for yet another resurrection (at least not so far).

But you can never count "Showtime at the Apollo" out, because it has a fanbase (as proven by the two revivals and by your question) and because it's cheap to make. If someone wants to revive it, they really just have to pay for the cameras -- the show's always happening.

Well, it's not quite that simple. "Showtime at the Apollo" grew out of the amateur-night competitions that have been happening weekly at Harlem's Apollo Theater since 1934. The TV series used that as a pool of talent, used the theater and its famously active crowd as the backdrop, and basically recreated the amateur nights for the camera.

Amateur Night at the Apollo is still going on (or at least it will be once the temporary pandemic break is over), which means there's no shortage of talent. And speaking of talent, Steve Harvey, who hosted the most recent TV series, could presumably still squeeze it into his schedule (the tireless star can always seem to squeeze in one more show).

But at the moment, there are no plans to do so. You can still catch reruns streaming online, but that's it.


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