The Arsenio Hall Show was one of the pioneer syndicated programs of the late 80s/early 90s, not just for creating the first successful late night talk show outside of NBC’s late night legacy but bringing in younger audiences into the late night landscape.
Arsenio’s success in the early 90s led him to produce other projects hoping to follow in the success of his talk show and one of those shows was The Party Machine With Nia Peeples:
The Party Machine with Nia Peeples is a half-hour late-night American musical variety show that aired in syndication for one season in 1991. The show was hosted by Nia Peeples and executive produced by Arsenio Hall.
Arsenio Hall created The Party Machine as a televised afterparty to his own program, The Arsenio Hall Show, and to be a late-night alternative to Club MTV. Hall built the half-hour show around Nia Peeples, who previously hosted MTV’s Friday night Street Party series and the short-lived US adaptation of Top of the Pops. The Party Machine set featured live music venues, multi-level dance floors, conversation pits, a VIP room, a non-alcoholic bar and a resident DJ. Music videos were introduced by Peeples, who also served as a dancer/choreographer. The show, sold to markets as a companion piece to Hall’s talk show, aired weeknights in syndication beginning January 7, 1991 on approximately 150 stations. In addition to Club MTV, its format brought comparisons to Soul Train, Dance Party USA and American Bandstand.
I’m sorry, comparisons to Soul Train? More like a straight up rip-off of Soul Train. I’m not even kidding, this show is basically the 90s version of Soul Train and Soul Train was still very much on the air during this time period and this show was basically just that except it featured a top musician at the time at the forefront and Nia Peeples was a successful singer at the time. Nowadays, most people will know her for her work on Walker Texas Ranger and Pretty Little Liars.
I mean, that’s all this really was, it’s just a Soul Train rip-off whose purpose was to introduce some of the top musical talents of the time for established and breaking urban dance acts. New Jack Swing singing group Troop was the show’s first guest. Other music acts who performed on the show include The Boys, Tevin Campbell, Taylor Dayne, Sheena Easton, En Vogue, Guy, LeVert, MC Hammer, Maxi Priest, Will Smith, Ralph Tresvant and Vanilla Ice. The show also featured comedians and actors such as Sinbad and David Faustino. That’s fine but again, Soul Train was still on the air at the time and you could watch that for pretty much the same thing except a much sexier host….which, I don’t know, some people may have found Don Cornelius still sexy in his mid 50s, who knows.
Bottom line, you’re better off just watching Soul Train than taking a chance with The Party Machine With Nia Peeples, no wonder this only lasted one season.
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