Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage; George Pimentel/WireImage
Bethenny Frankel's new syndicated talk show, bethenny, is failing to attract viewers, while Queen Latifah's new chat fest, The Queen Latifah Show, has started off with solid (if not blockbuster) ratings. Why is Latifah's viewership (about 1.8 million per episode) about a third higher than that of Frankel's show?
That depends on whom you ask. (And which tabloids are reporting the answers.) Rumor has it, Frankel's producer, Ellen DeGeneres, thinks that the Skinnygirl mogul has alienated her audience by talking too much about her ongoing divorce.
"Ellen wants Bethenny to stop yakking about the divorce because there is a public perception that she’s to blame for the split," a source told Radar Online. "Jason [Hoppy] is very sympathetic figure -- a doting dad -- and quite frankly, many of Bethenny’s viewers and fans don’t understand why she dumped him. ... Whenever Bethenny opines about how hard the divorce has been on her and bemoans that Jason wasn’t the love of her life, viewers turn the channel." According to a source who spoke to The New York Daily News, DeGeneres feels embarrassed and wants to cut her losses and move on quietly.
Frankel, of course, is extremely frustrated by her show's low ratings. "Bethenny is livid about Queen Latifah beating her," a source told Star. "She can’t believe this is happening. She’s holding crisis talks in order to figure out what Latifah has that she doesn't."
But according to Radar, she has an inkling: "[Bethenny] is absolutely peeved that she has been unable to get a big name celebrity to come on," a source says. "Frankel was told numerous times by DeGeneres before the show premiered that she would absolutely help her in getting all of the big names in show business."
But while Frankel has been interviewing celebrities like Kate Gosselin, Mario Lopez and Hoda Kotb, Latifah has welcomed the likes of John Travolta, Jamie Foxx and Jake Gyllenhaal. No doubt, two of that show's exec producers, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, had something to do with wrangling those A-listers. (Will himself sat down with Latifah during her first week.)
DeGeneres did use her influence to secure big-name interviews (like Justin Bieber) during bethenny's test run, and she's shared her celebrity booker with Frankel. "But he’s been unable to get Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow or Miley Cyrus," says Radar's source. "The big-name celebrities don’t want to go on a talk show hosted by a former Bravo housewife."
Who can blame them for preferring to visit the Queen?
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an iVillage contributing writer. Follow her on Google+.