MORE THAN MEETS THE CONVERSATION FNL NETWORK TALKSHOW WRITTEN BY: LYDIA GRAVES
The FNL Network Talk Show premiered its first episode Friday, April 16. One word is a standout when describing the show: “diverse”. This is no surprise as all four hosts of the show come from different walks of life and are various individuals. Breck Graham, Krista Keller, James Davis — a.k.a. Elaine Lancaster, and Ziba Lennox cohost the show. The group of four delight and entertain viewers weekly while enlightening them on the truth of current events. Lennox tells me the show is full of “hot topics and conversations that matter.”
Each week, the moderator chooses one, or a few, topics that will be discussed on the show. Topics vary between celebrities, fashion, politics, and real-life situations. These topics are then dissected through each host’s lens of the world. Digging deeper, the talk show stands as a platform to hear and listen to others’ opinions as well as the many sides of a situation. “[The show is an opportunity to] inspire the viewing audience to think about our perspective if they don’t already share it,” Davis explains. Lennox maintained the same positions, clarifying that disagreements should not lead to hate. She hopes this show will help individuals keep the perspective that relationships do not need to be broken simply due to differences. The goal in the show takes a similar stance. Each host hopes it can act as an informational forum. Keller discusses, “I want to leave them thinking more about current affairs that are happening all around us [and] teach people that you can have different views than others and still get along.” And, of course, the exposure would be beneficial in this regard. “We have four voices⎯Krista, James, Ziba, and me⎯on the show, different perspectives, different walks of life. Take your pick who you like.
We say what we feel. No TV directors or corporate people over our shoulders or in our ears. It is all real,” Graham tells me.
This endeavor officially began almost two months ago with the first episode. However, talk of the show has been going on for about a year. It started with FNL Network, a free television network founded in 2015 by the show’s current creator, Rocco Leo Gaglioti. The network is free and without account signup, available on a variety of devices including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, and all Android and Apple iOS devices. All of the hosts had a connection to the network or Gaglioti. Graham and Gaglioti met at Milan Fashion Week. “Of course, two Americans in an Italian city going to a show, we struck up a conversation and became friends.” Keller and her daughter, Courtney Stodden, had done a reality show that premiered on The FNL Network. Gaglioti and Davis modeled together in the early 1990s and worked together in the early 2000s, covering fashion events for The FNL Network. Lennox worked with Gaglioti a few times on various projects including New York & Paris Fashion Week and the movie, Covid-19: Global Lockdown. All hosts informed me of Rocco Leo Gaglioti’s brilliance when it comes to any of his projects. None of them could turn down a position as exciting as this. “It’s extremely rare that a Network houses divergent views and encourages us to speak our minds,” Lennox rationalizes. Graham also found the individuality of the network to be out of the ordinary. “He told me to be me. I was a bit nervous about that! Usually, people tell me the opposite.” Gaglioti contacted everyone and explained his idea and the group has been releasing a new show every Friday since.
I’m told being a host on the show is “electric”. Of course, the task holds responsibility. Since the show is dedicated heavily to current events, hosts must stay up-to-date on the latest happenings. As always over the internet, there can be the issue of saying something
controversial, as Graham points out. “In the back of my mind, what if I say the wrong thing, then the social media warriors come after me with pitchforks? If you throw a rock, you hit a person who is offended by something.” There is also a duty to thoroughly listen to their peer’s opinions and discuss rather than argue. This can be refreshing, though, Lennox explained. “We don’t have an agenda, the team works hard to dig for the truth.” For Davis in particular, the show is a breath of fresh air. Before FNL Network Talk Show, the host worked on a show through Q Television Network. “I had to be in drag Monday through Friday 8 AM to 6 PM and it could be exhausting…opposed to the FNL Network talk show where I can or cannot get into Drag and log onto Zoom and reach virtually the entire world one day a week.” The talk show on FNL Network gives this sense of comfortability, flexibility, and freedom for both the hosts and the audience by being held virtually. “After over a year in lockdowns, Zoom has become an almost best friend,” Graham explains. He tells me there is an ease to it. “We are very comfortable interacting on the screen with each other. There are no egos.” But I’m told by Keller what truly makes the show rewarding is the people she gets to work with. “What really makes it nice is that I enjoy the other hosts immensely even though we have different points of view at times.” They have each grown to adore and respect one another since the first day of filming. “While we may disagree frequently, it’s highlighted for me that people who don’t view the world exactly as I do are still good people!” Lennox says, further pushing the point that disagreements do not form enemies. The four have become good friends despite these differences, often continuing the conversation after filming.
The four encourage their audience, and everyone for that matter, to be constantly skeptical. “Bias is built into the system,” they explain, “everyone has their own particular biases”. When it comes to world events, there is rarely a right and wrong that can be picked out
from the news. Krista Keller encourages reading from both conservative and liberal media. From there, personal conclusions can be drawn according to what feels and sounds to be right on the matter. Independent journalism podcasts are a favorite of Ziba Lennox. She suggests The Intercept due to it being “researched and reported on without concession.” She tells me, “This type of adversarial journalism has helped me understand that things aren’t always as they seem and that corruption and injustice exist everywhere regardless of who’s in power.” Media and any source of news should be combed through heavily before trusting truth in it; research is important.
Breck Graham, Krista Keller, James Davis, and Ziba Lennox can be seen on The FNL Network Talk Show every Friday discussing their latest topics. All of the hosts have ideas they will bring in through future episodes. Some include current affairs, psychology, affordable healthcare, race relations, and how today “entertainment is politics and politics is entertainment.” Tune in on the FNL Network app and discover how many sides there are to each situation. Click to download the FNL Network TV Network or APP for free: https://linktr.ee/fnlnetwork