Megan Mullally will draw on the talk show hosts she watched as a youngster when the Will & Grace star launches her own contender in the fall.
"I want it to be a 'best of talk shows' talk show," she said. "I've always been a big fan of talk shows, ever since I was a kid--(Johnny) Carson, Merv (Griffin) and Mike (Douglas). I think it's cool to pull elements from all the best shows."
The Megan Mullally Show will include comedic and musical elements, skits, field segments, and a band, Mullally said. But one thing it won't have in common with many talk shows of its ilk is that she won't be seated behind a desk. Although the actual set is still being worked out, Mullally said she's aiming for something that's "fresh and different."
Mullally--who has been at the NATPE TV sales convention this week in Las Vegas helping to promote the show--also wants to feature a mix of celebrity guests and "real people" in the hourlong daytime show, saying she doesn't "want to discriminate between" the two groups.
"I genuinely care about people and life in general," she said. "I want to touch on a lot of different areas of life in a fun way. Sometimes it will be full-on, knock-down, drag-out comedy...No matter what's going on, it's not going to be so crazily scripted--it's just going to have an element of real spontaneity."
Although she'll be switching from a role she's playing in a sitcom to a role in which she's essentially playing herself, Mullally said she isn't nervous about taking on the new challenge. She'll be drawing on her own experiences as a guest on various talk shows, as well as her own guest-hosting duties on shows like CBS's Late Show with David Letterman.
"I'm really excited because I have so many great ideas, and it's going to be really fun to do," she said. "The talk show is different (from Will & Grace) because I'm so completely at the center of it; I'm actively involved in it. It just engages your creativity."
Executive producer Corin Nelson, former showrunner on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, said the show will rely heavily on Mullally's "quick wit and ability to react in the moment." She also said that Megan Mullally will be all about making both viewers and guests feel comfortable.
"We want to create an environment where celebrities feel completely at home...and where viewers feel like they're hanging out with a friend in the middle of the day," she said.
Mostly, Mullally wants the show to be "participatory" for the audience and ultimately just wants them to have fun. And stations are biting. Distributor NBC Universal Domestic TV said Wednesday that it has cleared the show on stations covering more than 70 percent of US households.