Why Full Frontal's Samantha Bee Won't Be a Late Night 'Lady Behind the Desk'

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee

Go ahead, ask the host of TBS’ upcoming Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (premiering Feb. 8) about being the only woman currently with her own late night show. The former Daily Show correspondent welcomes the topic.

“It completely makes sense to me that it would be a part of the conversation,” Bee said Thursday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, adding that she and Full Frontal executive producer Jo Miller are “quite puzzled” by the lack of women in the genre —”but we’re happy to take up the mantle.”

Bee added that women’s issues “are extremely important to me” and are “a passion that we will delve into” on the TBS series.

However, “it’s not a show all about women’s stuff,” Miller noted.

Full Frontal, with its heavy focus on field shoots, may look familiar to viewers of Bee’s previous gig — “It’s natural that it would. That was work that I loved so much,” she said — but the star promises that it will stand apart from her segments on The Daily Show.

“We’re going to broaden the style and try a whole lot of new things,” which includes a piece about an American cultural orientation in Jordan, Bee explained. The program will also distinguish itself from its contemporaries with an open set and a fresh format.

“She’s not going to be a lady behind the desk,” Miller described. “We’re going to try to develop a different way of storytelling that doesn’t rely on news clips. It’s more like a weekly news magazine… We’re not having guests, so we have this lovely third act where we can put anything we want.”

That said, Bee did take something from her 12 years working with Daily Show boss Jon Stewart: “I learned a lot about what goes into a healthy and robust work ethic and running a show.”