The word had been going around industry circles — and gossip columns — that Bethenny Frankel was having trouble finding a distributor for her proposed daytime talk show series, even after getting some instruction on softening her New York-hardened manner. But it seems like both Warner Bros. and FOX are taking a chance that Frankel will be a hit in daytime. She’s got six weeks to prove it.
FOX stations will air a six-week trial of “Bethenny,” which Frankel is producing with Ellen DeGeneres. The trial will air over the summer. “My passion is connecting to, inspiring and being inspired by my fans. I’m ready for the challenge of this new adventure, and I’m going to tackle it like I do everything else in my life. The queen of too much information is coming to daytime,” Frankel quipped in a press release about the venture.
No doubt everyone involved is rooting for Frankel’s trial to work out, as she’s had a number of successful and lucrative ventures over the years, including best-selling books, the Skinnygirl line of products, and a margarita line that she sold to Beam for over $100 million. She was also the first “Real Housewives” cast member to get a spinoff.
But there’s a reason why this is only a trial. What works in business and reality might not work in daytime, where Frankel’s fast talking and blunt honesty might not work. The fact that Ellen is in her corner is a plus, but if she was so bankable, she would have gotten more than six weeks.
This isn’t the first time FOX has tried a trial of a talk show with an abrasive host; a couple of years ago, the network aired a six-week trial of a new Craig Kilborn talk show, “The Kilborn File.” The show did not get renewed after the trial was over. Let’s hope Frankel gets more of a chance than Kilborn did.
Watch a preview of season 3 of “Bethenny Ever After”: