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The irrepressible Bethenny Frankel has achieved yet another career milestone today. After this summer's successful, two-month trial run on a handful of local TV stations, her syndicated talk show bethenny hits the national airwaves. (Check local listings here.)
And boy, has she come a long way since her early TV days, when she parlayed a 2005 contestant stint on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart into three seasons on The Real Housewives of New York. She used that slice of fame to launch her own reality show, Bethenny's Getting Married, and its follow-up, Bethenny Ever After. And this was all in addition to her main business: creating and promoting Skinnygirl Cocktails and writing several books on nutrition, fitness and weight loss.
And now comes the talk show, produced by Ellen DeGeneres and aimed at an audience of women who appreciate Frankel's unfiltered opinions and self-deprecating wit. The show will focus on "what women are going through -- not enough sleep, being a mother and wanting to look good," Frankel told Zap2it.com. "The show is what women talk about when men aren't around."
And what does the average woman talk about when guys aren't around, in her opinion? "My husband overeats and snores, and I am not attracted to him," she says.
Frankel's soon-to-be ex-husband, Jason Hoppy, is actually quite strapping, if not the Prince Charming she once thought him to be. But the two are in the midst of an extremely unhappy divorce and custody battle, which Frankel discusses in the opening moments of her new show. Watch here:
After nearly three years of marriage, much of which was captured on film for her reality show, Frankel filed for divorce in January 2013. “I have been going through a really difficult divorce, as many of you can probably relate to, and you helped get me through it, and the show will hopefully help me help other women,” she says in her opening monologue.
Clearly, she wasn't kidding when she recently told a newspaper that “I don’t think I would draw a line” at how much she discloses on TV. “If my guests are going to reveal themselves, I have to be honest, too." That transparency will stop at her daughter, Bryn, however. Hoppy won't allow their 3-year-old girl to appear on the talk show.
As for the rest of her chat fest, here's hoping it turns out to be a little more edifying than what she offered in Monday's premiere episode. Bringing Nick Cannon on to explain and demonstrate twerking isn't exactly the most interesting or creative choice.
But Frankel's got a knack for overcoming insipidity. Remember, this is a woman who used the Real Housewives franchise to launch a lucrative career as a mainstream TV star. Why bet against her?
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an Atlanta-based writer who covers pop culture and watches too much TV. Luckily, iVillage gives her an excuse to watch even more. Follow her on Google+.