Tag Archives: Hot in Cleveland

‘Hot in Cleveland’ Spinoff Series in Development for ‘It’s Worth What?’ Comedy King Cedric the Entertainer

Cedric the Entertainer NBC photo

Cedric the Entertainer not only has his NBC “It’s Worth What?” game
show newly on the air this summer.  The King of Comedy will also show up as a character on TV Land’s “Hot in Cleveland” next month.  And, he reveals, if things go according to plan, that character will land in a spin-off sitcom of his own.

 “TV Land got very excited about developing a show based on the
character,” says Cedric.  He describes his role as a hot R&B singer-turned-preacher — ala several real-life recording stars — who “has a real-world, modern kind of point of view that clashes with that of my father, an old-school minister.”  As far as when the show might debut, “We’re in the early stages of development.”

Meanwhile, he has a slate of standup gigs this summer, and the “It’s Worth What?” show — that has already spawned a drinking game wherein participants take a sip each time he utters “Whaaaat?”  Cedric is well aware “It’s Worth What?” faces stiff competition (including Chef Gordon Ramsay), but points
out, “With our show, people can have fun playing along.  Everyone thinks they
know the prices of things, but everyone gets surprised.”  Items from Roy Rogers’ taxidermist-treated Trigger to a flying saucer home are the big lure, he feels.  “We have plenty of fun stuff ahead – items that are quite amazing.”

For Cedric, the timing of “It’s Worth What?” was “very serendipitous,” since “I definitely wanted to find another way to get back into television.  I had a deal at ABC for the past eight years to do a sitcom for them, but we never found anything that would stick,” notes the former “Steve Harvey Show” and “Cedric the Entertainer Presents” star.  “I see the fun my good friend Steve Harvey is having doing ‘Family Feud,’ Howie Mandel on ‘Deal or No Deal,’ Jeff Foxworthy on ‘Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader” and doing a game show looked interesting.  When this came up, I thought, ‘Okay, I’m out of my box right now.  Let’s try it.”


It’s On! Betty White Vs. Cloris Leachman Ultimate Octogenarian Emmy Matchup

Cloris Leachman

Betty White

When the 63rd Prime Time Emmy Awards are presented Sept. 18, unfortunately, we won’t be seeing what could have been the Ultimate Octogenarian TV Awards Smackdown.  No, even though Emmy queens Betty White and Cloris Leachman are each nominees this year, they’re in different categories.  Betty is in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy category where she belongs, while Cloris is a Guest Star nominee despite being on nearly every episode of her show, because that’s how she’s billed, and that’s how she chose to submit herself for Emmy consideration.

Still, awards handicappers are wondering which TV legend will add to her Emmy haul this year — or whether both, or neither, will win.   Accordingly, here is a snapshot of  the grande dames – or “old broads” as Betty would say – and how they match up:

Cloris Leachman:  Born: April 30, 1926, Des Moines, IA
Emmy Nominations 22
Wins 9 (8 primetime, more than any other performer)
Unforgettable As: Frau Blücher in “Young Frankenstein,” Nurse Diesel in “High Anxiety,” Phyllis Lindstrom in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”

Betty White:  Born: January 17, 1922, Oak Park, IL
Emmy Nominations: 21
Wins: 7 (6 primetime; she was the first woman to win a Daytime Emmy)
Unforgettable As: Sue Ann Nivens of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” Rose Nyland of “Golden Girls,” Sandra Bullock’s grandmother-in-law to-be in “The Proposal”

Cloris’ Other Honors Include: Academy Award (Best Supporting Actress, 1971, “The Last Picture Show”); induction into Television Hall of Fame; 1 Golden Globe, 1 Screen Actors Guild Award

Betty’s Other Honors Include:  3 Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, Induction into Television Hall of Fame

Current Job:  Cloris says she wasn’t looking to get back into series work when Fox’s “Raising Hope” came her way, but she immediately loved the character of dotty, awful Maw Maw, who goes around in her bra and orange stretch pants, and whose first response to her infant great-granddaughter was “get that dog off my couch!” 

Current Job:  Betty initially thought she was only going to do the pilot of TV Land’s “Hot in Cleveland” as “a heavy, a villain,” but found she enjoyed her costars so much, she wanted to stick around.  Her shady lady Polish caretaker character, Elka Ostrovsky, has developed into “one of the gang” and a driving force on the sitcom. 

Cloris’ Other Current/Recent:  Upcoming remake of “Gambit” with Cameron Diaz and Colin Firth, Grand Marshall of several Gay Pride parades, 2008 “Dancing With the Stars” as oldest contestant ever.

Betty’s Other Current/Recent:  Celebrity Frontwoman for AARP, Facebook campaign that led to SNL hosting, Snickers spot, upcoming show in which seniors punk younger people.

Quotes About Betty:  “I’m so sick of Betty White.  Never liked her,” “She’s such a slut.” 

Quote About Cloris:  “Is she still conscious?”  (They’re joking!)

Redford Connection:  Cloris appeared as a prostitute in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” (1969).

Redford Connection:  When Betty’s SAG Life Achievement Award was announced, reporter Gregg Kilday asked her if there were things in show business she’d like to do that she’s yet to do.  “With a sly, mischievous smile, White replied:  ‘Robert Redford.'” 

Ms. Leachman in a Nutshell:  Miss Chicago of 1946 and a Miss America contestant, she majored in drama at Illinois State University and Northwestern University, and studied with Elia Kazan at NY’s famous Actors Studio.  Plays wild comedy and searing drama with equal brilliance.  Married to Hollywood impresario George Englund from 1953 to 1979, Leachman had five children. (Son Bryan died of a drug overdose in 1986.)  Animal advocate.  Notoriously colorful Hollywood character — everyone seems to have a Cloris story — she’s done interviews while bathing.

Mrs. Ludden in a Nutshell:  Three months after graduating from Beverly Hills High School, Betty appeared on an experimental TV station in Los Angeles — in 1939.  She performed onstage and on the radio before joining the daily, live variety show “Hollywood on Television” with Al Jarvis in 1949.  “The Queen of Game Shows.”  The love of her life was third husband Allen Ludden, the “Password” emcee.  They were married from 1963 until his death in 1981, and she was stepmother to his children. A great pet lover and highly active in animal welfare for decades, Betty is a Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) Trustee.

Less Known About Cloris:  “Joanne Woodward and I were the only women [film stars] who nursed our babies back when we were new mothers.  After that, nursing became popular and a lot of babies were much happier because of that.” 

Less Known About Betty: She has a sometimes-naughty sense of humor and there’s a clip of her telling “Golden Girls” castmate Rue McClanahan a blue joke that can be found on the internet.  Plays poker.

Cloris loves to eat: “Salad with my fingers”

Betty loves to eat: Hot dogs.

Cloris Deals With Age By:  Maintaining her vegetarian lifestyle, getting 10 hours of sleep a night.

Betty Deals With Age By:  Not thinking about it (she sleeps maybe five hours a night) and focusing on things that make her happy. 

Wendie Malick Talks ‘Hot in Cleveland’ Cross-over, Betty White’s Hot Dog Diet

Jane Leeves, Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick TV Land photo by CXraig T. Mathew

With “Hot in Cleveland” returning for its second season Wednesday (1/19) and promotional demands picking up as well, Wendie Malick acknowledges that she and Jane Leeves and Valerie Bertinelli tend to watch out for their cultural phenomenon cast mate, Betty White, who turned 89 yesterday (1/17).

“That’s kind of the rule of thumb.  We’re all here to look out for each other.  Look, we know we’re in the presence of a national treasure here, but she’s a strong one.  She’s a tough broad, I have to tell you,” Malick says.

“She’s got some kind of constitution.  The woman lives on hot dogs and french fries.  I was trying to get her to eat salad with grilled salmon and my husband said, ‘Will you stop?  Whatever she’s been doing is obviously working.’  Maybe red licorice is the secret to a long life.”

The hit status of “Hot in Cleveland”  is a welcome surprise to the series team.  “We all knew it would be a longshot because there were so few pieces about mature women.  But you had to know at some point something would have to work, because there are so many baby boomer women out there who are reinventing ourselves, who are starting new chapters of life.”

With a guest star roster including Mary Tyler Moore, Bonnie Franklin, Carl Reiner, Tim Conway, Melanie Griffith, Peri Gilpin, Joe Jonas and Jon Lovitz, the hitcom also has a few twists on the way.  Among them:  Malick’s character, ex-soap star Victoria Chase, is headed for a stint on daytime’s “All My Children” toward the end of the month in a first-of-its-kind exchange between a prime time show and a daytime show on different networks.

“It is so confusing,” says Malick — who requested being billed as Victoria Chase in “OLTL” credits, rather than as Wendie Malick.

“We’re having trouble keeping track.  Okay, this is a show within a show.  Now I’m playing a character who is playing a character.” She doesn’t know what the soap writers have in mind for her as yet.  “I’m completely putting myself at their mercy.  It will be interesting to see what they come up with, knowing the dynamic between Victoria and Susan Lucci.  She did a cameo on our show in the season finale, where she accepted an Emmy on my behalf,” reminds Malick, whose character was filled with chagrin.

She’ll be shooting “Hot in Cleveland” and “One Life to Live” at the same time, “double teaming a little.  I know they’ll try to shoot all my things at once.  I’ll rehearse a few hours on my show, then shoot a few hours with them.”

It’s a time squeeze most actors would love to have.  “Oh, yes, says Malick.  “You really want to be a little too busy.”

Tim Conway Explains Why He’s Better for Betty White Than Carl Reiner

Betty White, Tim Conway

Legendary TV funnymen Tim Conway and Carl Reiner guest on Wednesday’s (7/28) “Hot in Cleveland” episode on TV Land, playing rivals for Betty White’s affections.  And Tim declares, “I had such a great time, I’m going to insist on coming back, whether they want to film it or not.”

He adds, “I haven’t had that much fun since I was on the [Carol] Burnett show.”

Carl Reiner

As far as whether he or Carl is the more suitable suitor for the 88-year-old wonder girl, Tim dead pans, “I’m the right guy.  I’m the right guy for any lady, actually.  Carl – unfortunately, he’s too bright for women.  I’m more in their IQ class.”

Yes, still naughty at 76, six Emmy-winner Conway these days divides his work time between occasional guest spots on the tube – like his “CSI” stint this past April – and taking his “Tim Conway and Friends” show with Chuck McCann and Louise DuArt on the road.

His “Together Again” shows with Harvey Korman used to pack ‘em in.  Tim says, “I enjoyed going out together when Harvey was working.  He’s not doing anything lately though.”  Korman died in 2008.

Fortunately, “Chuck and Louise and I, we just get along so well.  It’s kind of a traveling Burnett show.  We don’t have to apologize for anything.  It’s good for all ages.”

Referring to today’s raunchy, bloody television, Tim says, “That was one of the reasons that I took the show on the road.  I didn’t want to get involved in that.  Most scripts that come to me, I read about 12 pages and I go, ‘I don’t think so.’

“Don Knotts and I used to talk a lot about what the audience expects from us – him being known as Barney Fife of Mayberry and me as that crazy Tim guy.   Rather than get involved in things with violence and nudity and raw language, we decided to stay where we were.  Funny is funny.  And I’ve never regretted it.”

Jane Leeves is Getting Protective of Betty White

Jane Leeves Hot in Cleveland TV Land photo

Betty Mania continues.  TV Land’s June 16-debuting ‘Hot in Cleveland’ is in its first week of regular series production, and Jane Leeves is finding cast mate Betty White a wonder woman: ‘She’s 88 and she’s giving us a run for our money. She’s such an inspiration. No wonder everyone loves her.’

Leeves sounds a little protective of White, who plays the strange and saucy caretaker of the Ohio property rented by a group of powerful women from Los Angeles — Leeves, Valerie Bertinelli and Wendie Malick — in the show that marks TV Land’s first original sitcom. She says she found herself watching White’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ guest hosting stint feeling worried over whether she’d be overtaxed. ‘I thought they’d use her sparingly but they had her in every scene — and she killed,’ she points out with a laugh. Still, asked for her response to those now calling out for Betty to host the Oscars, the Emmys — everything — Leeves says, ‘Leave her alone.’

White, she adds, is taking it all in stride. ‘She’s so grounded.’

For Leeves, who became a beloved fixture on the TV scene herself with her 11 years on ‘Frasier,’ ‘Hot in Cleveland’ means a chance to go back to the half-hour format. ‘It’s ideal for me as a mom,’ says the British actress, whose daughter is nine now, and whose son is six. ‘It’s where I’m most comfortable. And the schedule is really great. I was looking at some hour-longs and my husband said, ‘No, please, we’d never see you.”

‘Cleveland,’ which has Sean Hayes as an executive producer, gives her the chance to play something completely different from her kind-hearted Daphne character of the past. — as cynical career woman Joy, ‘eyebrow archer to the stars.’

‘There was just something about Joy that I loved, something going on there,’ says Leeves. ‘There are a lot of layers to her, things that made her the way she is.’ At least one dark secret about the character will be revealed early on, she hints. ‘I can’t say what it is, but it’s a big one.’