Cincinnati hasn't had the filming of a local TV program here in decades. That's about to change.
Cincinnati's native son, Bill Cullen, is filming a pilot program in Cincinnati called The Late Show on Bill Island. The program will be filmed in Oakley this Saturday before a live, studio audience at the 20th Century Theater on Madison. Cullen has paired up with Ezra Paul Grundy, video editor at Channel 9 News, to produce a program that celebrates everything great about a midwest town - Cincinnati.
Cincinnati is a hub for filming due to its architectural diversity, hosting film crews from Rain Man, Milk Money, and The Public. TV featured few sitcoms, but famously, WKRP in Cincinnati brought the area notoriety with a significant amount of the program featuring shots of iconic buildings in Cincinnati. However, a live TV program hasn't been filmed in Cincinnati since the Bob Braun Show that ended in 1989. (A clip, here, with featuring Joe Nuxhall, Ray Knight, and Dave Rose - Pete Rose's brother.) That was the last great local program in the tri-state.
Cullen and Grundy hope to bring local programming mainstream. They have assembled quintessential Cincinnati icons from sports and business, along with local artists to entertain their audience. The Cincinnati Circus will be performing a trapeze act. His set will include a live band and a featured comedian. Cullen has persuaded Thom Brennaman, former Cincinnati Reds broadcaster, to come back into the limelight to talk sports and legends. Other guests include George Wilson of the University of Cincinnati's basketball fame, as well as, putting together Chris Postler, president of Pure Romance, and Arthur Rozzi of Rozzi Fireworks to explore how they might combine forces to set off some personal fireworks all over Cincinnati. Most importantly, they just want to have fun.
Cullen was born and raised in Cincinnati. He left temporarily but came back home to be with his mother who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. After suffering numerous tragedies and losses, he turned his grief into laughter. His mainstay. He poured his heart into celebrating every moment of life and spreading that passion for living with others.
Out of these experiences, Cullen's zest for life became known to his friends as "going to Bill Island," his happy place. 'Bill Island' is where nothing was too extreme, there was no cancel culture, and the laughs were worth the gasps. Cullen says, " 'Bill Island' is a state-of-mind" not a place. It's how you approach life and people. It embodies "living your best life" all the time. Cullen is an extrovert who celebrates life at every turn and "enjoying every moment and making every moment hilarious".
Saturday, Cullen will be taking a Cincinnati live audience to 'Bill Island,' free of charge, in a live public show. The filming will be the first time in decades that Cincinnati has hosted such a program. Don't miss it.
General Admission tickets are free and can be reserved, here.