A new side of Bethenny Frankel. After years of experience on reality TV, Frankel, 50, was ready for something new. Plus, she “desperately needed” to grow her team. Insert The Big Shot With Bethenny, her new competition reality series that follows her search for a vice president of operations at Skinnygirl.
“This is such an authentic need for me. So why would I not capture this as a great show? I lucked out that this is a pandemic and a time where people are really struggling for employment opportunities,” the businesswoman says in the latest issue of Us Weekly. “It really matters how you set yourself apart and that you have the tools and the takeaway to be nimble and versatile in the workplace. So to go through this authentic job interview process, that was as valuable for me, because I need to find people that can really do what I need vs. just hiring the first people that I meet.”
The show is not dissimilar to The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, which Frankel came in second place on in 2005, but it’s less predictable and even more cutthroat. However, she has multiple businesses with 26 brand categories, so the most important task was to find someone who could really do the job, rather than someone who just wanted to be a reality TV star.
“There were definitely people that were there for the wrong reasons, but there were also people that were there for the wrong reasons that were really good at the jobs. So it’s hard to tell now because I’ve hired that have been good at their jobs who came in as fans. And I don’t know that they are mutually exclusive,” the author shares, noting that she was a fan of Martha Stewart when she joined her show 16 years ago. “I was a nobody and I was, like, fanning out, but I don’t know what that means. I couldn’t have done the job.”
Frankel adds that a huge part of the process was trying to figure out if the person just wanted to become famous — and that included hours of vetting ahead of time.
“There’s no way to know. It’s just like online dating vs. dating — meeting someone in the bar that you don’t know or meeting someone online that you don’t know,” the former host, who met fiancé Paul Bernon, via a dating app, continues. “Someone could sneak through either way.”
The show will include many aspects of Frankel’s life — including those in her inner circle — and nothing is off limits.
“It’s just not a reality show based on my personal life, because that’s not what we’re doing. So I’m not trying to cutesy it up,” she tells Us. “It’s not about that, but nothing is off limits. I just don’t want it to go off the rails and be about minutiae in my normal life. You see everything — you see my personal life and my business life — but there always has to be one sort of thing that it’s focusing around and this focuses on this job.”
The Big Shot With Bethenny premieres on HBO Max Thursday, April 28.
For more from Frankel, pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.