By Jeff Labrecque
Updated March 25, 2009 at 07:57 PM EDT

“If change can come to the White House, then change can come to late night,” comedian George Lopez told The Hollywood Reporter about his new TBS talk-show. “Yes I can!”

TBS. George Lopez. Late night.

Is that really change we can believe in?

TBS ordered 34-weeks of the show, which will attempt to generate a more spontaneous and interactive spark with its live audience, and hopes that an 11 p.m. start time will give Lopez a cushion before Dave and Conan come on at 11:30. But don’t forget that Leno’s new prime-time show will air at 10, and Lopez is still slated opposite Jon Stewart, though his show would seeming target a different demo than The Daily Show. But just how much couch-patter can viewers be expected to consume?

For TBS, it’s worth the gamble. Their instincts on Tyler Perry paid off, and Lopez might fill a similarly under-served niche. Technically, they have nothing to lose: Frank TV was a pretty stale imitation of a late-night variety show.

But is Lopez the right guy? His eponymous ABC sitcom had a nice run, ending after 118 episodes in 2007, but how many George Lopez fans are there really? Leno at 10 has a curiosity factor. Jimmy Fallon had a curiosity factor. George Lopez? I’m not feeling the curiosity factor. Maybe Lopez should pick a fight. In 2007, he lashed out at Leno, called him “two-faced” and the “worst interviewer on TV.” Now, it’s put-up time, and if I were Lopez, I wouldn’t necessarily run away from controversy.

Can George Lopez keep your attention four nights a week? Do you give him a prayer of lasting 34 weeks, or is a repeat of Chevy Chase’s late-night trainwreck a distinct possibility?

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