The Call Sheet sifts through the day's glut of Hollywood news to find the stories even non-industry types care about. Today: Bethenny Frankel takes a stumble, NBC teases 'Smash,' and then they sell some paper.
Uh oh! The years-long winning streak of reality TV it girl Bethenny Frankel, the lone Real Housewife who has actually gone and made something of her life, has maybe come to an end. It seems her plans for a syndicated daytime talk show have "died in development," a chilling and final-sounding phrase. Frankel, who has made millions off of stingingly-sweet tequila Splenda water, had been shopping a show around to various places, but with a glut of new talk shows debuting (as soap operas die off), including ones from Jeff Probst, Steve Harvey, and the indomitable Kiki Couric, there just wasn't room for ol' Bethy Franks. Apparently she might still try to sell the show to a cable network, but that would be something of a disappointment. Sure she's on cable now, but talk shows, those need to be bigger. Those need to air in waiting rooms the nation over, muted at nursing homes, playing unwatched while unemployed people doze on the couch. Maybe she can try again next year, when the landscape isn't so crowded, or maybe her spirit has been broken. First Parker Lewis and now Bethenny Frankel. We guess everyone can, eventually, lose. [THR]
Speaking of new talk shows! A premiere date has been set for The Revolution, a chatter featuring Tim Gunn, demon who feeds on forced gratitude Ty Pennington, and some other weirdos. Premiering on January 16th, the show is formatted so "each week the show will ... focus on one particular woman and her 'personal journey' over the course of five months." Oooh! Oohh! Do Bethenny! Have her on! She needs the help. Also, Ty Pennington? What exactly is Ty Pennington offering advice-wise, revolutionary or not? "You know, m'am, I think you need to yell into more megaphones and probably also get weeping homeless people to profusely thank Sears and ABC over and over again. That always makes me feel super awesome!" Ugh. Ty Pennington is the worst, sorry. [The Wrap]
While on the topic of the worst, what do we make of this music video promo for NBC's upcoming Glee homage, Smash? And what do we think about that show in general? Obviously the theater freaks among us (we are legion) are excited in a grimly bitchy kind of way, but is anyone else? How can a whole show be about the making of one musical and still be interesting to a broad audience week in and week out? Will there be other singing, like pop song singing as suggested here? Because obviously that's a large part of what fuels Glee, seeing what familiar songs they do next, but if it's just a bunch of original music for a fake musical, that just seems a little risky. Also this "introducing Katharine McPhee" business continues to be completely ridiculous. Introducing nothing. Girl was second place on American goddamn Idol, she's not exactly some complete rando. Actually, wait. She was second place on American Idol five years ago. So, OK, y'know what? She is pretty random. Carry on, NBC! [Vulture]
From Katharine to Kathryn: The great and underutilized Kathryn Hahn, fresh off the strangely toned and swiftly canceled Free Agents, has landed a four-episode guest starring gig on Parks & Recreation. She'll be playing the campaign manager for Leslie's political rival. Cat fights abound, no doubt! Scratching and hissing and slapping! Or, well, zaniness. Knowing this show, it will be zaniness. Warmhearted, cozy, consequence-free zaniness. And there's nothing wrong with that! And there's nothing wrong with Kathryn Hahn either. Good on Parks & Rec for doing her a solid, bad on much of the rest of Hollywood for letting her languish this long. [Deadline]
Oh good grief. NBC, poor struggling broken abandoned smoldering dust-strewn NBC, has finally thrown up its hand and said "All right, fine, screw it, let's just license some Dunder Mifflin brand paper." Yes, actual paper, branded like the fake paper company on NBC's only successful show, The Office. They've sold the rights to Staples, which will sell the product on its website Quill.com. Here it is, already for sale! Not much to say about this other than "Oh dear..." and then tell NBC that if it needs anything, it knows it can call us, we understand it's been going through a rough time, and we're here for it. But at the same time we can't support this, this... This is bottom barrel territory we're entering here. Abandon all hope, ye peacocks. It only gets darker from here. [THR]
TNT has decided to extend their Mystery Movie Night series, which premieres tomorrow, and will thus add a movie called Hornet's Nest, to star Sherry Stringfield and Oscar nominee Virginia Madsen. Madsen plays a police chief and Stringfield plays her deputy. Seems there's a serial killer on the loose in North Carolina, and they're the only two that can stop him. Ain't that always the way? No huge task forces, no nationwide manhunt. Just a couple of determined people with flashlights and relationship problems, solvin' murders the American way. You kick down enough doors and have enough standoffish conversations with your love interest, and you're bound to find your killer. That's just forensics. [Deadline]
Here's some depressing news. A Bio Channel biography of often racist and wildly unfunny ventriloquist comedian Jeff Dunham was the highest rated thing ever in the network's history. Woof. Granted, saying something is the highest rated show in Bio Channel history is a bit like saying you're the most popular kid at home school, but still. Jeff Dunham, America? Him? It just does not compute. The dead terrorist is funny? The gold-toothed, gum-smacking pimp named Sweet Daddy Dee (seriously) is funny? Yikes, everyone. Yikes, Bio Channel. Yikes. [THR]
Here is a gallery of everyone in Steven Spielberg's Abraham Lincoln biopic and it is funny to look at because some of them look so much like the real people! Look at Joseph Cross! And Tommy Lee Jones! And Jeremy Strong! They look exactly like the people they are playing, almost as if they are time traveling actors just like Nicolas Cage? Or John Travolta? Fess up, Steven. This is secretly a movie about time traveling actors, isn't it? We could see Tony Kushner writing that. Why not dispense with all the secrecy and just admit it. [EW]
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