Fat Actress Premieres in early 2005 on Showtime
Here the press release from Showtime
LOS ANGELES– July 21, 2004– Showtime has greenlighted "Fat Actress," a six-episode, half-hour hybrid comedy/reality series starring two-time Emmy® Award winner Kirstie Alley that was inspired by Alley's real life, it was announced today by Robert Greenblatt, President of Entertainment for Showtime Networks Inc. Taking her life experiences and recreating them in the extreme, Alley plays a fictional version of herself–a successful television and movie star whose weight gain has become the subject of every tabloid imaginable as well as the bane of her existence as she tries to find work and true love in an unforgiving Hollywood. This irreverent series, which will be co-created and executive produced by Alley and Brenda Hampton ("Seventh Heaven"), will be unscripted, with each episode emanating from a story outline and the actors largely improvising the dialogue. "Fat Actress" will begin production in September in Los Angeles and will air on Showtime in 2005. Sandy Chanley ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") also executive produces through her production company, Production Partners, Inc.
"Kirstie Alley came to see us–with 24 dozen Krispy Kremes in hand–and said she was so tired of seeing unflatteringly fat pictures of herself on the cover of The Star that it was time for her to send-up her own image as well as Hollywood's obsession with weight and beauty," said Greenblatt. "Kirstie is an incredibly gifted comedian and a beautiful woman (regardless of her size), and we jumped at the chance to go behind the scenes of her life in a unique comedy series format which will blend reality and fiction. This is quintessential premium cable for us–not only will the show garner a ton of attention, it also has something to say."
"Finally, a network that feels just like home," Alley added. "They don't give a damn how much I eat or how many men I sleep with as long as it's on camera."
Bravely willing to lampoon her image that has been mercilessly ridiculed over the past few years, Alley will give us a glimpse of the humor and the irony in her battle to lose weight and get back on television in a tough business that prefers the once-svelte version of the Emmy® Award-winning star of "Cheers." Stories will be drawn from a heightened perception of her real-life experiences, and some of Alley's friends have promised to appear as themselves in guest cameos to further blur the lines between truth and fiction. Anyone struggling with issues about weight or self-esteem–or just looking for love and happiness–will identify with Alley's life.
Brenda Hampton, co-creator of the series, created and currently executive produces "Seventh Heaven," the smash hit drama that has been running for eight years on The WB. While known primarily for this family drama, Hampton has actually spent most of her career writing and producing several successful sitcoms such as "Mad About You," "The John Larroquette Show" and "Blossom."
Kirstie Alley became a household name playing "Rebecca Howe" on the hit television series "Cheers" for which she won both a Golden Globe® and an Emmy® Award. Her flair for comedy translated to the big screen in movies like Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry," "Look Who's Talking" and "Look Who's Talking Too." In 1997, Alley returned to television to produce and star in the sitcom "Veronica's Closet," which ran for three seasons.
Sandy Chanley, who produced the first two seasons of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," brings incredible knowledge of unscripted comedy series production to the creative team. She has also produced a number of highly-regarded comedy specials including: "Bill Maher: Be More Cynical," "Chris Rock: Bigger and Blacker," "Chris Rock: Bring The Pain," "D.L. Hughley: Goin' Home," "Janeane Garofolo," and many others.
"Fat Actress" was packaged by Sam Haskell on behalf of the William Morris Agency. Pearlena Igbokwe is the creative executive on behalf of Showtime Networks Inc.
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