Adrienne Houghton has logged over 1,000 shows on daytime’s “The Real,” now in its seventh season on WNYW/Ch. 5 (11 a.m. weekdays).
This season looks a bit different, with Garcelle Beauvais joining Houghton, Loni Love and Jeannie Mai on “The Real” and the show, which originates in LA, airing remotely — allowing Houghton to sleep in for a bit while she co-hosts from New York.
“I don’t have to go through all the production time with the travel and getting up at the crack of dawn,” says Houghton, 36, who was born on the Lower East Side and normally hosts the show from LA. “It’s pretty awesome. We used to air live in New York, which means I had to wake up at 4 a.m.
“Now it’s not too bad at all,” she says. “I start work at 9 a.m. and I’ve got my entire crew working at my house — meaning my mom, my dad, my sister and my husband. My mom is craft services and wardrobe, I handle my hair and makeup and my husband [Israel Houghton] is my technical crew. It’s been a lot of fun.”
“The Real” hasn’t been impacted too much by the industry’s “new normal”; ratings have been steady since Season 7 launched on Sept. 21 with the co-hosts continuing the show’s traditional format of lively, topical discussions.
“We’re all producers, so we get a say in most of the topics we talk about,” says Houghton. “They come from our hearts and our minds, and things we find shocking, funny, heavy and deep. We all see what topics are coming up [for the next day] and the producers make sure we’re informed with articles and links to information about that topic.
“But we don’t know what the other girls are going to say and we don’t discuss [the topics] before going on the air,” she says. “That keeps it fresh and ‘there’ and in the moment. We try to make sense of what’s going on for our viewers and lean into the movements around us … to talk about representation on television and what that means to this next generation of minority children who can go, ‘Oh, wow, she’s a Latina and on TV — I’m a Latina so I guess that’s an option for me. I can do that.’
“We’re also surprising essential workers and giving them money and reaching out to them and telling them how much we appreciate them.”
Houghton is back in primetime this fall on “I Can See Your Voice,” the new Wednesday-night talent competition series on Fox she co-hosts with Ken Jeong and Cheryl Hines. It’s a follow-up, of sorts, for Houghton, who appeared on “The Masked Singer” last season and came in third (as The Flamingo).
“We actually shot [‘I Can See Your Voice’] in July and August in the middle of the pandemic,” she says. “We had to be tested on a daily basis … and when we finished, no one had gotten sick. There was no audience so it was [edited] in digitally in post-production. Everyone was super-respectful and really stuck to the [COVID] rules and regulations — and, hello, we had a doctor on the set with Ken Jeong!”
Houghton’s family joined her while she shot the show, driving cross-country from New York to LA in an RV and quarantining with her for the summer.
“We drove back [to New York] as a family,” she says. “It took us six days and we saw the Grand Canyon and visited my husband’s mother in Santa Fe.
“We made an adventure out of it.”