Harry Connick Jr. talks about exciting new venture

Harry Connick's new venture

(WVUE) - Harry Connick Jr. is closing the book on one chapter of his life but has no plans to slow down. Fresh off his stint on "American Idol," the New Orleans native now has an even bigger project in the works.

He's known for his music, acting chops, and most recently, his time as a judge on the final season of American Idol.

"It was a thrill. I mean, showing up to work every week and having Jenny, Keith and Ryan there, they were just a lot of fun to be around," Connick said.

But now, the man who wears many different hats will try on a new one.

"Starting September 12th, we're going to bring this late night kind of atmosphere right into the middle of the day," he said, explaining that his new entertainment show will be unlike anything you've seen on TV before.

"It's going to be a very, very different environment," Connick said. "For example, if we start talking about the Saints and you're a guest on my show and you mention that Drew Brees likes chicken fried steak po- boys, we'll go out and get ingredients and make one."

Spontaneity is the name of the game.

"It's going to be a crazy tightrope walk every hour, and we'll see how much people dig it," Connick said.

There's one thing you can count on, as Connick explains, "I think the fact that I'm from here, it's invariable the show is going to have stuff about New Orleans."

Maybe he'll show off his favorite po-boy.

"I like, I think it's the soft shell crab po-boy with fried green tomatoes at Ye Olde College Inn," Connick said.

Or maybe he'll invite some of his idols to his couch, saying, "Anytime they want, any Saints player who wants to come on is always welcome. The door is always open to anybody affiliated with the Saints - always."

The show will feature lots of music. In fact, while Connick judged "American Idol," he constantly yearned to perform.

"We were basically on the stage so to watch these performers 10, 20, feet away from us, and not to be able to perform was frustrating," he said. "Every week I wanted to get up and do it."

Connick and his band will entertain his New York City-based audience and the rest of the country with their smooth sounds, showcasing the talents he has spent his life perfecting, first, as a student at NOCCA, then studying for a brief time at Loyola University. Connick's influence on the city is still very much visible today. He helped establish the Musician's Village in the Ninth Ward after Katrina. The centerpiece is the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music.

"I just want to make sure that enough young people are learning about the traditional jazz, because that's really what put us on the map."

The New Orleans native believes the myriad concerts, TV shows and movies he's performed in helped pave the way to this new venture.

"All of the things I've done throughout my career have kind of led me to this point," Connick said.

It's a show that he knows will showcase the best he and New Orleans have to offer.

"FOX 8, September the 12th, make sure you tune in to the Harry show!" he said.

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