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?
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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. Read More »
NBC has ordered a comedy pilot presentation starring Jessica Simpson. The single-camera project, inspired by Simpson’s life, is based on a pitch developed by Robin and Nick Bakay, with Nick Bakay (Two And A Half Men) writing the pilot script. Ben Silverman’s Electus and Universal Television are producing. “I often find myself thinking that no one could ever make up the things that actually happen in my life — so between the real-life elements and a great team of writers, I think we’ll have people laughing!,” Simpson said.
The comedy project expands the relationship among NBC, Simpson and Electus to the scripted side. They are also collaborating on the reality series Fashion Star, which is heading into its second season. The half-hour is executive produced by Simpson, Nick Bakay, Ben Silverman and Jessica’s father/manager Joe Simpson. Jimmy Fox from Electus is a co-executive producer. “Jessica Simpson is truly a modern-day Lucy with incredible comedic chops,” said Silverman. “From running a fashion empire to wrangling her public image as a new mom, we see Jessica’s character approach a variety of ‘everyday’ circumstances that will get audiences laughing out loud.” Read More »