Archive for the ‘E! Entertainment Television’ Category

Suggestion To QVC Jewelry Maven Joan Rivers: Rename Your ‘Fashion Police’ Segment ‘Starlet Or Harlot?’

September 15, 2010

We know from her documentary that QVC jewelry queen Joan Rivers is a workaholic, but she still continues to amaze us with all her ventures.

In the latest expansion of her activities, the E! “Fashion Police” specials that Rivers often hosts have became a weekly series. We caught a repeat of the first one Monday, while we were at the gym.

Rivers makes her catty comments along with a panel that includes a slimmed-down Kelly Osbourne, E! and Style Network whatever Giuliana Rancic and celebrity stylist George Kotsiopoulos. The show’s normal time slot is Friday’s at 10:30 p.m.

According to E!, “Backed up by her chorus of ‘couture cops,’ Kelly, Giuliana and George, Rivers and company will cut a swath
through the jungle of tacky celebrity fashion to reveal who fizzled, who sizzled and who should have just stayed home in a housecoat. They will cover the good, the bad, and most assuredly the ugly, along with everything in between.”

Joan Rivers is captain of the newly expanded 'Fashion Police'

On the installment we saw, Rivers blasted Julia Roberts for the kimono-like dress that the actress wore to the debut of “Eat, Pray, Love” in Japan. The comedian made a comment to the effect that Roberts’ dress was the biggest bomb to hit Japan since Hiroshima.

The panel liked some of Jessica Alba’s looks, and hated others. Alba can do no wrong in our book, since we share the same birthday, April 28.

It’s obvious that Rivers hates anything Miley Cyrus wears, but thinks Taylor Swift is a fashion icon, along with Natalie Portman.

One of the show’s segments is “Starlet or Streetwalker?,” which is exactly what it sounds like. But we suggest a better name for that bit: “Starlet or Harlot?” On the episode we saw, the Fashion Police panel pegged a hot-pants wearing woman as a hooker, and when the woman’s face was revealed it was Kate Gosselin.

Some of the show’s other segments include “Red Carpet Roll-Out,” which takes viewers to star-studded events around the world, and “Rack Report,” which showcases those female celebrities who are carrying more than their fair share up top.

The fashion police also hit the streets to assess the style choices of celebrities out and about in the “Caught Casual” segment, and will skewer who show a bit too much flesh in “Skin Flick.”

Other segments include “What the Hell Happened to…” and “What Were You Thinking?” And the fierce foursome will spotlight some of Hollywood’s tastiest tresses in “Hair Play.”

Finally, some of the hottest names in fashion will stop by the set to bring the latest style news and their own personal opinion to the debate.

The “Fashion Police” team will also visit TV and film sets to get an inside look at the wardrobes of today’s hot celebs.

Joan’s commentary and her three fellow “police” will close each episode as she runs down the final ‘best and the worst’ of the week.

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Kim Kardashian Pushes Her Tush On QVC: Is Her Voluptuous Butt A Plus Or A Minus?

March 13, 2010

Kim Kardashian

Is reality TV star Kim Kardashian the right person to be doing workout videos, especially about getting your butt in shape?

We guess that depends on where you stand on big booty.

Kardashian was on QVC Saturday morning hawking her new DVD set, “Fit In Your Jeans By Friday,” for $25.

The DVDs include “butt blasting” exercises, and Kardashian demonstrated the “tush push” on air.

Host Shawn Killinger, her usual tactful self, put Kardashian on the spot right away on the segment.

“You are known for one of your most famous assets,” Killinger said, making quote marks in the air when she said “assets.”

Well, she wasn’t talking about Kardashian’s eyes. Killinger then made Kardashian stand sideways, so viewers could get a good look at her figure.

Kardashian, rather like Jennifer Lopez, is known for her shapely behind. Here’s the difference between women and men: Some women — like us — look at Kardashian and think her behind is too big, men look at her and, well, you figure it out.

Believe me, we’re not saying that Kardashian isn’t gorgeous. And we agree with her about women’s bodies.

“I love my curves,” she told QVC viewers. “I love curvy. I love voluptuous.”

Kardashian draws a negative response on QVC’s online forums, but we think she comes across as down to earth and friendly on QVC — better than her persona on E! Entertainment Television’s “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”

Finally, while we’re on the topic, please remember our dating rule: Never go out with a man whose butt is smaller than yours.

New York Times: Joan Rivers’ QVC Jewelry Has Racked Up $800 Million In Sales In Past 20 Years

March 7, 2010

Rivers is wearing her QVC Make A Statement necklace in Fred R. Conrad's photo for The Times

The national media is loving QVC.

First The Huffington Post wrote about QVC’s pre-Oscar party in L.A., and today The Sunday New York Times has a profile on the home shopping channel’s jewelry queen bee, Joan Rivers.

It’s a well written and amusing piece, pegged to the fact that Rivers will be doing a post-Oscar fashion post mortem for E! Entertainment Television’s “Fashion Police.”

But the story, headlined “Rivers Takes Aim At The Stars’ Wardrobe At the Oscars,” also talks about Rivers’ “eponymous jewelry line” for the home shopping channel

“That’s my annuity,” The Times quotes Rivers as saying.

“In 20 years, she has successfully hawked more than 20 million bijoux for over $800 million in sales,” The Times says, citing Rivers’ publicist as the source for those tidbits.

In the photo that accompanies the story, River is wearing one of her QVC necklaces. It’s her “Make A Statement” beaded necklace, which sells for $74. It comes in three colors, item number J149106.

The story also noted that the documentary “Joan Rivers — A Piece of Work” will be released in theaters in June. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won critical acclaim.

QVC Will Be In Los Angeles With Special Oscar Shows, The Los Angeles Times Reports

February 7, 2010

QVC gave The Los Angeles Times a nice little scoop: The home shopping network is coming to the Oscars, or at least trying to ride on its coattails.

QVC will do two live three-hour broadcasts from the Four Seasons Hotel (we stayed there once while on assignment) in LA on March 5 and 6, which is the weekend of the Academy Awards, according to The Times.

Unfortunately, Lisa Robertson (who thinks she’s all that) will be hosting, wearing her usual low-cut gowns and hair extensions, we’re sure. This red-carpet gig will really give her as swelled head.

You can expect to see QVC vendors such as Rachel Zoe, Isaac Mizrahi and Joan Rivers at the QVC event.

Rivers will wear a necklace that will be sold on QVC on the real Oscar red carpet when she does fashion coverage for E! Entertainment Television.

Entertainment-magazine TV show veteran Nancy O’Dell will launch her new QVC jewelry line during the network’s Oscar shows, the Times reports, while Zoe and Mizrahi have done special items for the festivities.

QVC Jewelry Queen Joan Rivers Dishes To New York Post On Nicole Kidman, Lady Gaga

January 17, 2010

QVC jewelry queen Joan Rivers is in the news again, this time because she will be back on E! Entertainment Television Monday night doing a Golden Globes edition of “Fashion Police.”

Rivers, who was known for her cutting red-carpet commentary at E!, lost favor with the channel at one point, and landed at TV Guide Network. But now she’s back at E!, where she will be offering her blunt remarks on what the stars wear tonight at the Globes.

The New York Post Sunday published a Q&A with Rivers Sunday.

In the interview, Rivers sounds off on topics such as plastic surgery (an area she knows well), and gets in a nice shot at Nicole Kidman.

“Four years ago she showed up in a red dress with that white face,” Rivers told the Post. “She looked like a ketchup bottle.

Surprisingly, Rivers says she’s a fan of outrageous singer-performance artist Lady Gaga.

“I love her,” Rivers said.

We love Lady Gaga, too. Her “Bad Romance” song and video is our favorite.

QVC, HSN and ShopNBC Should Give Thanks For Home Shopping’s Sea Change: They’ve Attracted Luxury Brands Like Gucci, Badgley Mischka And Stephen Dweck

November 26, 2009

QVC CEO Mike George

We thought we were seeing things a few days ago when we checked ShopNBC’s Web site and saw that it was selling dozens of Gucci watches. What happened, did they fall off a truck? Why was Gucci, a premier luxury brand, being sold on a home shopping network?

Then back in October, we couldn’t believe it when a sharp-eyed poster on QVC’s jewelry forum said that upscale jewelry designer Stephen Dweck, whose chunky gemstone masterpieces are featured in Neiman Marcus, was on the No. 1 home shopping network’s schedule. THE Stephen Dweck?

We checked QVC’s program guide ourselves, and there it was: Dweck was doing a lower-priced jewelry line for QVC called Dweck’s Diamonds. His Neiman Marcus pieces didn’t even have diamonds. The high-end stuff is made with semi-precious stones.

Also in October, we were checking the press releases on HSN’s Web site when we saw the network had struck a deal with one of the most famous and elite fashion houses: Badgley Mischka, designers of bejeweled gowns for the red carpet and celebrities.

We’ve written bits and pieces of this during the past two months, but we thought we’d tie it all up in a tidy package for Thanksgiving: There has been a sea change in the home shopping world, prompted by the disastrous economy and the crash of the luxury market.

Yes, home shopping networks have seen their sales hurt by the economy, like everyone else. But they claim they are still managing to steal market share from brick-and-mortar retailers. In fact, QVC is making a full-frontal assault on them this Black Friday, with 28 hours of special products and programming stunts starting Thanksgiving night.

The consumer press will continue to mention “cubic zirconia” in every story it writes about QVC or HSN, oblivious to the fact that some of the most esteemed names in fashion, jewelry and cosmetics — brands you find in Saks, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus — are plying their wares on the aforementioned home shopping channels.

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart

Male journalists are blind to this. You still have the nerds at Gawker, a snide Web Site for the navel-gazing media, chiding HSN for selling “useless crap.”

If you have ever seen how male journalists dress or their fashion and style sensibilities, you will realize that you can’t expect them to know names like Badgley Mischka, Judith Ripka, Robert Lee Morris, our fellow Montclair, N.J., resident Bobbi Brown, Yves Saint Laurent, Smashbox, Lancome and Dweck. And these brands and artists don’t represent “useless crap.”

Luxury-good makers are hurting, and they need to make up their loss in sales. So they are turning to outlets like QVC, as CEO Mike George explained at a recent Liberty Media conference, as outlets to distribute new lower-priced lines to the masses. George cited fashion designer Vivienne Tam’s QVC alliance at the meeting held in Manhattan by his parent company, Liberty.

“This complete implosion of luxury retailing in America has caused all these folks to rethink their business model,” George said.

And that means partnering with QVC, HSN or ShopNBC.

As we said, it will take the consumer press years to figure out that home shopping channels are distribution powerhouses that have undergone a transformation, in part because of the infllux of talent like a Morris, who does couture jewelry for designers like Donna Karan and RLM Studio sterling silver jewelry for QVC.

The Big Three — QVC, HSN and ShopNBC — are aggressively trying to broaden their audience and potential customer base, those who don’t normally watch any of these three networks. That means the three are actually “programming” the channels, doing “shows” that have entertainment value, not just product shilling, so they will attract non-QVC or non-HSN watchers.

We remember once interviewing a QVC exec years ago and asking what the network’s ratings were. He said ratings were irrelevant: QVC was only concerned about how many products were sold in an hour.

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

That’s a totally different tune from what we heard recently from QVC’s George, and from the strategies that HSN CEO Mindy Grossman and ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart have initiated.

Like traditional TV networks, the home shopping players want viewers to “sample” a QVC or an HSN. These new audience members, hopefully, will then see products that they want to buy.

For example, singer Natalie Cole recently did a live concert on HSN to promote a new Holiday CD set she is selling on the channel. If you’re a fan, you might tune in to HSN to see her, and then actually decide to purchase her CD. Artists such
as Jose Feliciano have also performed live on QVC.

QVC alum Stewart on a recent third-quarter conference call pointed out that actress-entrepreneur Suzanne Somers, who came to ShopNBC from HSN, had succeeded in attracting new viewers to Minneapolis-based ShopNBC because she was “entertaining.” And these networks want new eyeballs.

And home shopping networks’ capacity to reach millions of consumers and do fulfillment of orders has not been lost on magazine publishers, celebrities or cable’s reality TV stars. With circulation falling, women’s magazines such as Lucky, Allure, Glamour and Self are partnering with HSN to sell subscriptions.

And stars have seen the light. In a recent interview in Oprah Winfey’s O magazine, Joan Rivers, who’s had a jewelry line on QVC for almost 20 years, told O she was on home shopping when “nobody except dead celebrities was doing merchandise on TV.”

Nowadays, it’s hard to find a celebrity or TV star who doesn’t have a home shopping line. Even Madonna was interviewed on HSN when she was selling her children’s book.

Here’s a partial list:

Paula Abdul, HSN, formerly “American Idol,” Fox

Rachel Zoe, QVC, “The Rachel Zoe Project,” Bravo

Isaac Mizrahi, QVC, “The Fashion Show,” Bravo

Padma Lakshmi, HSN, “Top Chef,” Bravo

Ramona Singer, HSN, “The Real Housewives of New York City,” Bravo

Susan Lucci, HSN, “All My Children,” ABC

Carson Kressley, QVC, “How to Look Good Naked,” Lifetime Television

Dr. Robert Rey, ShopNBC, “Dr. 90210,” E! Entertainment Television

Tori Spelling, HSN, “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” Oxygen

Paula Deen, QVC, Food Network

Rachael Ray, QVC, “The Rachael Ray Show,” syndication

Ingrid Hoffmann, HSN, Food Network and Univision

Home shopping is a big business. ShopNBC is the also-ran in the group, but in the third quarter Stewart made some nice progress cutting its losses. Sales for the Big Three were all down, but down less than previous quarters.

And we are not talking chump change for these networks. The three home shopping channels generated $8.3 billion in net revenue in 2008. QVC domestic posted $4.9 billion, HSN netted $2.8 billion and ShopNBC had $568 million.

Even with revenue still slipping this year, for the first nine months QVC had revenue of $3.308 billion; HSN had net sales of $1.4 billion; and ShopNBC had $372.6 million in net sales.

Happy Thanksgiving!

ShopNBC Has Gained Traction For Turnaround, CEO Keith Stewart Says

November 18, 2009

Keith Stewart

ShopNBC saw a slip in sales, but substantially cut is losses in the third quarter, prompting officials to say Wednesday that the company’s turnaround is moving forward.

“The turnaround of ShopNBC has gained traction,” ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart said during a third-quarter conference call.

“Changes to the business merchandising efforts are starting to unlock our customers growth potential,” he added. “And once you have traction, it’s full speed ahead…Q4 is the right quarter to continue accelerating forward.”

Third-quarter revenue was $119.4 million versus $124.8 million, a 4 percent drop versus the same period last year, as ShopNBC intentionally lowered its average selling price by 49 percent and increased unit volume by 90 percent. Net average selling price was lowered to a record $95 during the quarter versus $187 in the year-ago quarter.

“This reduction in our average selling price is an essential part of our strategy to increase viewership, rebuild out customer base and increase unit volume,” ShopNBC chief financial officer Frank Elsenbast said.

He noted that ShopNBC had changed its product mix to more health, beauty and home items and less high-ticket consumer electronics products.

Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $5.6 million compared to a loss of $13.3 million in the year-ago period. The net loss for the third quarter was $12.9 million compared to a $20.8 million for the same quarter last year.

Net sales in the first nine months were $372.6 million, a drop from $423 million in the prior-year period. The net loss for the first nine months was $33.2 million, down from $54 million a year ago.

In the third quarter ShopNBC got 1.1 new customers each minute every day, and saw 4 percent growth in net orders, the first increase in seven quarters, according to Stewart.

Judy Crowell

The network added 122 vendors, included big names like actress Suzanne Somers and celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey, who has a show on E! Entertainment Television.

SHopNBC is now “the definitive destination for watches,” with sales up 66 percent in the third quarter, according to Stewart.

Beauty “was another out-performer in the quarter, and it’s firing on all cylinders,” Stewart said.

Beauty sales were up 77 percent over last year, with 29 new brands launched, including Rey’s skincare line.

On the fashion side, ShopNBC debuted 50 new brands and concepts in the third quarter with sales up 6 percent, according to Stewart. It will launch 17 fashion lines before the end of the year, including the Judy Crowell Collection, from the former QVC and HSN host.

Stewart was upbeat about the home shopping business in general and ShopNBC in particular.

“This industry itself will continue to grow over brick-and-mortar,” he said. “The power of the Internet and television is pretty tough to beat.”

As for ShopNBC, the CEO said, “We also have stated previously we will double our sales every five years.”

The network needs 15 percent compound growth quarterly to achieve that target, according to Stewart.

After New Line On ShopNBC, Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robert Rey And HSN Seem To Have Parted Ways

October 29, 2009

Thanks to a tip from one of our readers, we’ve learned that Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey’s fancy undies and bras have been pulled off, so to speak, HSN’s Web site.

We guess that answers our question — e-mailed three times to HSN and Reys’ PR people — about whether the physician will continue to be selling his Shapewear line even though last week he started to selll his Senuous Solutions skincare creams on ShopNBC.

A poster to one of HSN’s online forums first reported that Rey’s goodies on Monday were deleted fom the No. 2 home shopping channel’s site. HR passd on that information to us.

Rey is the star of the E! Entertainment Television’s “Dr. 90210.”

We Take Third Shot At Finding Out If Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robert Rey Will Keep HSN Gig, While Also Selling Product On ShopNBC

October 28, 2009

Call us crazy, but we’re taking a third shot to try to find out if Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey will continue to appear on HSN now that he’s got a gig at rival ShopNBC.

Rey, star of E! Entertainment Television’s “Dr. 90210,” has been selling Shapewear, fancy undies and bras, on HSN for some time. But last weekend he went on  ShopNBC selling a skincare line, Sensual Solutions.

We don’t offhand recall a time when a vendor was selling goods on two home shopping networks at the same time. We want to know if Rey’s tenure with HSN is over.  

So far, we have sent three e-mails to HSN corporate, which states it will only take questions  from “a media professional with a specific request.” No response yet. Maybe HSN doesn’t think The Homeshoppingista is a media professional.

Not for nothing, and not to toot our own horn, but we will when we must. We went to one of the best J-schools in the country, Medill.  We helped launch Crain’s New York Business. We won one of the most prestigious awards for business journalism, the Gerald Loeb Award, for a story on the impact of AIDS on the fashion industry.

We covered the cable industry for 16 years at Multichannel News, writing stories about the business and programming such as HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

And we are still reporting on the cable business, the multi-billion dollar home shopping segment, with this blog. QVC and ShopNBC are totally owned or partially owned by two key media giants, John Malone’s Liberty Media and NBC.

In between job hunting, we are also writing for the growing Web site NewJerseyNewsroom.com, with a recent profile on Jersey’s Kurt Sutter, creator of the FX hit “Sons of Anarchy.”

We believe this all qualifies us as a media professional. 

We have e-mailed Rey twice, no response. But then we learned today that he has a PR firm that handles the media, and we shot an e-mail to them. Maybe they will answer our question. 

And we even e-mailed ShopNBC this morning, asking them if they know if Rey will remain on HSN.

Once again, we’ll let you know what we hear.

We’re Still Waiting To Hear From HSN and Dr. Robert Rey, About HSN And Dr. Robert Rey And ShopNBC

October 27, 2009

We just sent — for a second time — HSN and Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey the big question that home shopping fans want to know: Will the sassy doctor remain on both HSN and ShopNBC?

We first e-mailed Rey, the star of E! Entertainment Television’s “Dr. 90210,” and HSN on Sunday. That’s the day that Rey premiered his skincare products, Sensual Solutions, on ShopNBC. But Rey also sells an undie and bra line, Shapewear, on HSN.

The query is simple: Will Rey still be selling Shapewear on HSN, even though he is also on competing network ShopNBC?

Monday we sent the same e-mail again to Rey and HSN.

We’re not holding our breath that we’ll get an answer, but we may give you periodic updates.

On a totally different subject, with tonight’s “PM Style” on QVC we might initiate one of our plans: To keep track of every time host Lisa Robertson says she is going to buy an item she is selling, and publish that list here.

If Robertson bought something every single time she said that, she’d need a house the size of Giants Stadium to hold all that QVC merchandise.

And we also wish QVC hosts like Robertson would stop calling the products they are hawking “ideas.” We are not looking to buy “ideas” on home shopping networks, we’re looking for jewelry, mascara, etc.

And while we’re at it regarding Robertson, we hope she will stop telling us that with Easy Pay, an “idea” is only “a dollar a day.”

Man, we got up on the wrong side of the bed today, didn’t we?