Shooting for the stars. Bethenny Frankel knows that she’s taking a big risk with her show, The Big Shot With Bethenny — and she’s all in. In fact, when she pitched the idea for the show, she threw out the idea of any format whatsoever, despite the fear of others.
“There’s no real format, and that was scary for my partners at MGM, and that was scary for HBO Max. Jen O’Connell, the woman who bought the show who I know, said that I was her secret weapon and to do whatever I wanted to do to really make it my own show,” the BStrong founder, 50, reveals in the latest issue of Us Weekly. “I created it and I executed it, so whatever it is, it’s on me. If it wins, it’s on me. If it loses, it’s on me.”
In the new reality show, Frankel searches for her second-in-command to help her run her SkinnyGirl brand — and help in her many business ventures.
“Ultimately they didn’t know what was going to happen. So we’d be shooting and in L.A., I guess HBO Max had some feeds to what was going on and they’d be freaking out. Like, ‘Why didn’t I know this was gonna happen?’ or ‘Why did she just do that?’ Because in real life, you can’t predict what’s going to happen,” the former talk show host explained. “So, it’s not a formatted, predictable, tagline, fake integration, brand show. Everyone that worked on it — from the director of photography to the executive producer, to the people in glam — they all said they had never seen a show like this. It was just a completely unexpected ride.”
The podcast producer added that finding a person to help her run her business was like finding Oz from The Wizard of Oz.
“We’re hoping they deliver all of our dreams and wishes and hopes. And it’s cute that we’re doing this juggernaut, amazing successful show, but we really all are chomping at the bit waiting for this person,” she says of finding the perfect fit — and then having to keep the result under wraps. “It’s like the baby’s coming, and we keep having to wait. We’re, like, 10 months pregnant. We hired someone and we were so excited, but now we have to wait for the show to air, and then we have to wait for the show to air through all the episodes. So we’re just sitting around like, ‘Hi, we need this, we need this person!’ This is so real that we haven’t hired somebody else for the last two years to fill this job. So we’re using popsicle sticks and crazy glue to hold the business together.”
Frankel also raves about filming the show amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was filmed entirely during the pandemic and without any COVID incidents, and it’s gotta be four times the crew of what I’ve worked with in the past,” the Apprentice alum says. “So to accomplish that without being shut down because of COVID is something I’m so proud of. And you can’t even tell that it’s pandemic in the show at all. So it’s a great show and we were sort of COVID-proof, which is very rare in entertainment right now.”
New episodes of The Big Shot With Bethenny drop on HBO Max on Thursdays.
For more from Frankel, pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.