EXCLUSIVE: Costume designer Janie Bryant — best known for Mad Men and her Emmy-winning work on HBO’s Deadwood – is in development on a new design competition series with E.J. Johnston and James Deutch, co-creators of NBC’s fashion competition series Fashion Star. In the new show — working title Janie Bryant’s Hollywood — wannabe designers will be given a different challenge each week to create a garment in the style of a classic Hollywood film, or a celebrity’s signature style (think Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Warren Beatty, etc). Bryant and the show’s judges will decide each week who best executed the challenge. “We loved the idea of tapping into someone like Bryant, who is great at finding a look and designing costumes for film and TV and seeing how it translates into the real world,” Deutch tells Deadline. “Janie totally gets how to translate Hollywood to mainstream fashion.” He says they’ve just started pitching the show to networks, focusing on cablers such as Bravo, E! and Lifetime — networks that target women, people who love movies, and/or have had success with other fashion shows.
If American Idol is the Eden of reality star judgeships, then NBC’s Fashion Star has to be the River Styx and the beginning of the end. For one thing the series doesn’t actually have anyone called a judge on it. Instead Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos and Nicole Richie are referred to as ‘mentors’. You might not know it but NBC insists that Simpson, Richie and Varvatos are three of fashion’s biggest names. (Anna Wintour might beg to differ.) For the recently debuted Season 2, the ratings demonstrate a show that’s still struggling. Is that why the show slashed the prize contract from $6 million in the first season to $3 million for the second?
Richie, Varvatos and Simpson are supposed to guide their teams of four aspiring clothing designers to succeed with fashion buyers from Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Express. Otherwise, the designers have to face the blink-and-you-missed-it elimination. This results in a muddle of mentor roles. If you ask me, Fashion Star is a cable show that stumbled onto network and can’t compare to the superior Project Runway. So I feel forced to say this: Nicole Richie, you can do better.
The union and producers Magical Elves reached an agreement over health and pension benefits last night, Deadline has learned. The crew of Fashion Star, on strike since Saturday, will return to work today. There will be no more picketing at Hollywood Center Studios and the producers’ offices. Also, today’s 1:30 PM taping in front of an audience of the NBC reality show will now go ahead as scheduled. The agreement comes after IATSE representatives met with Magical Elves executives Tuesday afternoon to discuss an offer the union put on the table Monday. The union plans to meet with the approximately 70 crew members on the show later this afternoon to brief them on the details of the deal.
2ND UPDATE, 4:48 PM: IATSE has been called to a meeting with Fashion Star producers Magical Elves this afternoon, Deadline has learned. The face-to-face comes after the union put an offer before the producers of the NBC reality show to settle a labor dispute that started Saturday. “Talks are ongoing. The ball is in their court,” an IATSE spokesperson told Deadline earlier Tuesday. “We are still on strike.” Fashion Star is scheduled to resume taping tomorrow at 1:30 PM at Hollywood Center Studios. The union began discussions with Magical Elves yesterday. Four days after the crew walked off the job over health and pension benefits, picketing today was mainly centered on the De Longpre Avenue offices of the show in Hollywood. As of Tuesday afternoon, IATSE say they intend to be picketing tomorrow at Hollywood Center and the Magical Elves offices on Sunset.
British fashion journalist/TV presenter Louise Roe will replace Elle Macpherson as host of Fashion Star during for the NBC reality series’ upcoming second season. In the U.S., Roe, a fashion editor-at-large for Glamour, hosted the CW’s makeover series Plain Jane, which is in its third season on MTV International, and has regular fashion segments on Access Hollywood. She also co-hosted the Royal Wedding for E!, co-hosted MTV International’s live red-carpet coverage from the VMAs, Movie Awards and EMA’s, and co-anchored ABC’s Oscars coverage. In the UK, she hosted BBC’s The Clothes Show.
The second-season finale of NBC’s The Voice, originally scheduled to air from 8-10 PM on Tuesday May 8, will instead run from 9-11 PM. Fashion Star, which was to follow The Voice finale at 10 …
The daytime savings time continues to hammer 8-10 PM shows. Last night TV usage was down 6.5% from 8-10 PM, with the biggest decline, 11%, from 8-8:30 PM. Airing in that half hour, Fox’s Raising Hope (1.8/6) …