Arsenio Hall back on TV as co-host of 'Greatest Hits'

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Entertainment repoter Sandy Kenyon sat down with Hall.

It's summertime and living is easy, with warm weather, barbecues and ball games. But that also means network executives have to work extra hard to lure you inside to the television set.

With so much entertainment available, it's even harder to get the entire family in front of the TV together, but a new series called "Greatest Hits" may have cracked the code.

The idea behind the summer series is to pair yesterday's hit-makers, like REO Speedwagon, with those at the top of the charts today.

"A family can sit down and watch it, and there's going be someone that the moms and dads are going be excited about, that the teenager is excited about, and the young little girl is excited about," country singer Kelsea Ballerini said.

Ballerini, one of the brightest stars of country music, co-hosts the show with Arsenio Hall.

"She reminds me of Taylor (Swift) when we first heard of Taylor," he said.

Hall was one of the biggest stars of the 1990s, so big that he changed the course of American history.

Almost a quarter of a century has passed since he stood at the center of our culture, but the fortune he made back then, the "paper" as he puts it, allowed him to step away from show business to raise his son.

"I wanted to be a part of my son's life," he said. "If it means letting a little paper go in life, it's worth it."

The star's decision was deeply affected by his own childhood.

"I never had my dad around as much as I wanted to," he said. "My dad didn't always know what my favorite color was. My mother didn't always get to fix the meals that I ate. It's the reason I'm a good cook now."

His career may have cooled somewhat, but Hall is back on television and has no regrets.

"The bottom line is I took my paper and did something special with it," he said. "I took years off. I took a decade or more off to just be daddy, and I felt that was what my true blessing was when you look at my success."

Hall paid a price for stepping away, and Hollywood is a fickle place where today's big star is barely remembered tomorrow. It's a tribute to his talent and persistence that he is back.

"Greatest Hits" premieres Thursday on Channel 7.
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