Bethenney Frankel’s talkshow just couldn’t survive and has been canceled after one season. It’s not surprising since she was in a very crowded, competitive market. People only have so many hours in a day and they’re not tuning in to Bethenny’s show when there are so many alternatives. (I have to give Bethenny’s PR department credit, though. They were so good at sending out clips and photos of her interviews to the blogs.)
In response to the news of her show’s demise, Bethenny penned an open letter complaining about the nature of the work, basically. She bemoaned the fact that she had to conform to the requirements of the job and not do her own thing. It was unprofessional, in my opinion, and something she should have either kept to herself, shared with her staff or maybe just a small segment of the people who worked directly with her. All jobs have hoops you have to jump through, especially as high pressure and public a job as she had. Here’s some of what she wrote:
My friend Robert Verdi described doing a talk show better than anyone. Before we started, he told me, “You are a traffic cop.” What he meant was that to guide the amazing interviews, business segments and relationship talk, you are directing traffic. “Coming up,” “When we come back,” “Up next,” and the list goes on and on.
In order to have the freedom to create a talk show, there are required elements that the job entails. This is the part that I didn’t enjoy so much and that wasn’t authentic to me. In addition, I tend to be quite inappropriate which may not be suitable for daytime television or for the suits that run network television nationwide.
Unlike my time on Bravo, I felt a bit diluted, filtered and somewhat constricted. I am a free spirit. My late father (a horse trainer) used to say “She is a mustang. You need to let her run.” I am more comfortable in my natural surroundings and in a setting where I’m surrounded by crazy, where anything goes and where I can be authentically me. When interviewed about the show, I always said that it could only work if I was true to myself and only if it was genuinely a good fit and marriage which it turned out not to be.
I am so grateful for the experience and to those of you who went on this journey with me. It was fun, exciting, scary and a great challenge.
As easy as people like Ellen, Oprah, Wendy, Rachael and Steve make it look, it is one of the hardest jobs I have ever done, and I have so much more respect for them having been through this experience. They are warriors and champions who make a very difficult job look effortless.
So to answer how I feel, I am relieved. What I really want right now is to be with my daughter, to do yoga, to focus on Skinnygirl and my writing, and to give myself a break. I have been striving and climbing and white-knuckling for so long that I need a rest from the grind. I’m a little over myself and wouldn’t blame anyone else for being over me as well.
So despite how hard she worked to make her show successful, Bethenny disliked the nature of the work and is grateful she doesn’t have to do it anymore, according to Bethenny. Of course it’s difficult to run a daily talk show, and of course she can’t just say or do whatever she wants on daytime television. I don’t understand how this was surprising to her. There are so many other people who would gratefully do that job, suck it up, and make it work. This was the opportunity of a lifetime, and when it slipped through her fingers she complained about it, probably burning some bridges and future opportunities in the process.
Photo credit: The Bethenny Show and FameFlynet