TVNEWSCHECK FOCUS ON SYNDICATION

‘Bethenny’ Debuting Today Is All Bethenny

Following a successful summer test run, the syndicated show from Executive Producer Ellen DeGeneres and Warner Bros. launches today, and host Bethenny Frankel says it reflects her vision: “I feel even better about this now than I did with the summer test. I have my own people. I am involved in every single thing, down to the muffins in the dressing rooms."

Bethenny is very much the vision of host Bethenny Frankel, although executive producer Ellen DeGeneres looms large over it. She helped hatch the idea for the Telepictures show, serves as an executive producer and gave it a jumpstart last summer when Bethenny taped on the Ellen set in Los Angeles for its six-week tryout on Fox TV Stations. Warner Bros. distributes both shows.

“She’s doing her show and I’m doing mine,” says Frankel, who makes her syndication debut today. “She gave me a great opportunity and her team has been very supportive. But I am in the zone. I’m a big girl doing it on my own.”

Frankel is also an executive producer of the show, along with DeGeneres; Terence Noonan, formerly of Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz; and Meghan Schaefer Spielberg, formerly of MSNBC.

Susan Sobocinski, whose credits include Tyra Banks, is co-EP. Ellen EPs Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin and Andy Lassner, who oversaw last summer’s test, are consulting executive producers.

“I feel even better about this now than I did with the summer test,” Frankel says. “I have my own people. I am involved in every single thing, down to the muffins in the dressing rooms. And the morale is incredible.

“I’m a business person. This is a passion project, but I am treating it as a business and I’m the CEO.”

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Bethenny tapes at CBS Broadcast Center in New York City. Rather than focus on celebrity guests like DeGeneres, Frankel will interact most often with regular folk.

She will sometimes go into the studio audience to answer their questions. And there will be a recurring medical segment with Dr. Roshini Raj. Bethenny will tackle topics ranging from weight loss to unconventional marriages.

“This show is about women overcoming their fears and embracing life,” Frankel says. “This is about a conversation between women. It’s about honesty.”

Last summer’s test averaged a 0.9 rating, 6 share among women 25-54, up 80% from the time slot average a year earlier.

That was good enough for Fox and enough other broadcasters to give the show blanket national coverage. The show was sold on a cash-plus-barter basis (4 national minutes, 11 local minutes).

On several of the Fox stations Bethenny will lead out of Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams.

On WNYW New York at 11 a.m., Bethenny will face competitors including ABC’s The View, CBS’ The Price is Right and NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood Live.

On KTTV Los Angeles at 3 p.m., it’s up against CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey and Disney-ABC’s Katie.

“I don’t pay attention to what anyone else is doing,” Frankel says. “I want to do what I know how to do. I want to connect with my audience.”

She describes her viewers as sassy, fun loving and “slightly inappropriate” women from 18 years old into their 60s.

“[T]here will be people who don’t normally watch daytime who will watch my show,” Frankel predicts. “People tell me they never know what I’m going to say, so they want to watch.”

Bethenny Frankel at the Miami "Calling All My Girls" event.Over the summer, Frankel’s promotion of the show included an eight-market tour called “Calling All My Girls” during which Frankel hosted a party in each town with 150 guests. At each event, five people won two tickets for a trip to New York to watch a taping last Friday that will air next Monday.

“[The tour] was amazing,” Frankel says. “That is the part of this that is most authentic to me. It’s about connecting with real people. I think everyone underestimates the cities that aren’t on the coasts. The women are wild, passionate, so much fun and engaged.

“It’s really nice to go to all these cities and get to know the people who are watching.”


Comments (3)

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Mark Gregory says:

September 10, 2013 at 9:04 am

Connecting REAL people … she says over and over again … as opposed to what … the fake ones? After reading her quotes, think I’ll pass.

Ellen Samrock says:

September 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Just what TV needs, another screeching yenta.

Teri Keene says:

September 13, 2013 at 10:19 am

I wonder if any real businesswomen would tuck dollar bills into a stripper’s G-string like she did on Tuesday’s show…


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