Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker Are Ready for the Daytime Talk Test

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Actors Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker visit the SiriusXM Studios on June 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

It worked like gangbusters for Wendy Williams and the gals on The Real. For Kris Jenner, not so much. Testing out new talk shows with a limited summer run in key U.S. markets has become an increasingly valuable—and wise—way to separate the jewels from the junk. Next to go this tryout route: The Boris and Nicole Show, starring Hollywood marrieds Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, which debuts July 6 for a four-week run on several Fox Television stations, including those in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Detroit. Is this any way to keep a marriage together?

“A husband and wife cohosting a talk show might be considered a high-risk proposition and a real liability, but Nicole and I will prove that wrong,” says Kodjoe. “Besides, we’ve gotten through much tougher stuff.” So true. The actors fell in love when they met as costars on the Showtime series Soul Food and have two children. Their eldest, Sophie, was born in 2005 with the devastating neural birth defect spina bifida, just three months before the couple wed. “A lot of marriages don’t survive that kind of crisis,” Kodjoe says. “But we stayed committed to each other and to our daughter. Heading for the hills just wasn’t an option.”

Parker says she and Kodjoe also drew strength from friends and family members who’d survived adversity, and she believes the new show can be a similar lifeline. “Loneliness exacerbates any situation,” Parker says. “We’re here to have fun and entertain, and Boris and I will probably have differing opinions on everything. But we’ll also be your backup, whether you’re having relationship problems, dealing with disease, struggling to come out to your parents, whatever. That’s something daytime TV can do spectacularly well.”

Sophie is now thriving, by the way, and “life is all about ballet recitals,” Parker says. “There is such joy in getting through the rough patches. Like my dad always said, ‘The hard times make the story better when you get old!’”