Actress Keke Palmer said that lightheartedness and fun stories in the entertainment space didn’t properly mesh with a deep concern that was developing for COVID-19 a few months ago. So when her show “Strahan, Sara & Keke” was canceled, she was far from shocked.
The afternoon talk show, which was the third hour of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” was replaced in March when ABC started using that time slot for pandemic coverage. “GMA3: What You Need to Know” has continued to air in the same time slot, and, in July, reports of ABC-TV’s cancellation of “Strahan, Sara & Keke” began circulating.
Addressing “Strahan, Sara & Keke’s” reported cancellation in July, Palmer shot down a rumor that the show was taken off the air because she participated in racial injustice demonstrations and asked members of the National Guard to join protesters. “Here’s the thing, when the pandemic hit, that’s what became all on our minds was the pandemic, corona, understanding COVID,” Palmer said at the 0:26 mark of an interview with “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” that aired Sunday, August 2.
“So I kind of knew that if our show did come back, it would have to be much, much, much later, because our show was really about an audience,” she went on. “That’s what we do. We do a little bit of news, but it’s entertainment news. It’s really about fun conversations and lightheartedness. It’s a different time now … so some of the conversation has changed and I think that just kind of pushed ‘SSK’ out so I expected it.”
“Strahan, Sara & Keke” underwent three name changes since it started as “GMA Day” in 2018. It became “GMA3: Strahan & Sara” in January of last year, before Palmer was brought in as a permanent host in August after filing in for host Sara Haines during Haines’ maternity leave. The new show name then became “Strahan, Sara & Keke.”
The ABC gig doesn’t make for Palmer’s first time hosting a talk show, since she hosted “Just Keke” in 2014. That show made Palmer, now 26, the youngest talk show host in television history at age 20.
Before that, the Illinois native made a name for herself on the silver screen, capturing hearts early on in the 2006 film “Akeelah and the Bee.” One of her most recent films is the 2019 release of “Hustlers” with Jennifer Lopez.
Palmer also played in the film “2 Minutes of Fame,” starring Jay Pharoah, that was released for streaming in June. The story follows Pharoah, who plays a comedian and tries to make it in Los Angeles after he becomes popular on social media. Palmer plays his girlfriend.
The actress has a leading role in the upcoming film “Alice,” which, based on a description in The Hollywood Reporter, is “inspired by the true events of a woman of servitude in 1800s Georgia.” She escapes “the 55-acre confines of her captor to discover the shocking reality that exists beyond the tree line … it’s 1973.”