Archive for the ‘VH1’ Category

The Homeshoppingista Gets A Peek At HSN’s New Manhattan Penthouse Offices, And We Meet Mindy

June 17, 2010

Artist Michael Vollbracht, who created a clothing line for HSN, did four paintings for its New York offices that feature a flower motif from one of his scarves for the home shopping network

We got to visit HSN’s spanking new offices in Manhattan, and they are some pretty stylish, should we say swank, digs.

HSN had off-the-record meetings with the press Thursday, us included. HSN EVP of programming, marketing and business development Bill Brand invited us in.

Brand is a broadcast/cable veteran who got his programming chops at local TV stations, as well as both VH1 — working for Jeff Gaspin, who is now chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment — and at Lifetime Television.

Brand was hired by HSN CEO Mindy Grossman shortly after she arrived at the home shopping channel to shake it up.

We can’t tell you the content of what Brand told us about HSN’s plans (as we said, it was off the record, and if anyone else writes it, we’re coming after Bill). We’d love to relate what Brand had to say about the second network that HSN is launching, the just-announced HSN2. But we can’t. But Brand said we could blog about the new offices.

Bill Brand

Just a few weeks ago the No. 2 home shopping network moved its Big Apple staff from the quarters of the channel’s former owner, Barry Diller’s IAC, to a building on 55th Street, right off Madison Avenue. The building, across the street from the legendary Friar’s Club, is being renovated. The construction permits were in the lobby window.

Brand got programming experience under now-NBC honcho Jeff Gaspin

HSN’s corporate headquarters and TV studios remain in steamy St. Petersburg, Fla., land of the large flying water bugs and hair-frizzing humidity. That’s why we no likey Florida.

But HSN has always had some staff in New York City, and the airy new space with the Madison Avenue address (even though the entrance is on 55th) will serve as a fine venue for the network to host product previews for the press and to meet with its growing list of Manhattan designers and vendors, people like the red-carpet Badgley Mischka team and Iman.

HSN’s got the building’s penthouse duplex, with a great view of the city and a huge terrace.

The space is wide open, and everything is white. There is some artwork on the walls. Four paintings by artist Michael Vollbacht, who has done a clothing collection for HSN, hang near the entrance of the penthouse. But furniture and other decorations are still being brought in.

As we chatted with Brand, HSN CEO Mindy Grossman stopped by. It’s the first time we met her, and she was very gracious, not mentioning the times we’ve poked fun at her (describing her as “cleavage-baring” and all that) in this blog. She’s obviously a pro who knows how the game is played. Any press is good press.

We finally met HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

We know we shouldn’t comment on an executive’s appearance (it’s sexist, some would say) but Grossman is striking looking. She has great style and was dressed all in black, the Manhattan uniform. She was wearing great jewelry, including two huge cuffs from Iman’s Global Chic HSN line.

Brand also introduced us to HSN chief financial officer Judy Schmeling, who is always on the network’s earnings calls. Most of the top executives at HSN are women, not middle-aged white men, as is typical in most of corporate America.

After a lot of chatter and a very quick, but delicious lunch, we were ushered out as the next group of reporters was coming in for their HSN meet-and-greet.

Our only regret is that we didn’t grab a few blondies to eat on the DeCamp bus back to Montclair.

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We Messed Up: Jessica Simpson’s New Show Premieres Monday On VH1

March 15, 2010

My bad yesterday about QVC vendor Jessica Simpson’s new VH1 show, “The Price of Beauty.” It debuts tonight, Monday, at 10 p.m.

Reviews seemed to be mixed today. Here’s the take of one of our favorite TV critics, Lisa Stasi of the New York Post.

Eliot Spitzer’s Hooker Calls John Mayer A ‘Douchebag’ For Dishing On How Jessica Simpson Is In Bed: Got That?

March 14, 2010

Sexual Napalm

As the New York Post reminds us Sunday, QVC vendor/singer Jessica “Sexual Napalm” Simpson will debut tonight on VH1.

Her new show, “The Price of Beauty,” airs at 10 p.m.

In its “TV Week” section, the Post’s headline actually is “Sexual Napalm,” referring to John Mayer’s rather indisreet remarks to “Playboy” magazine about how the Texan blonde is in bed. He used “crack” and “napalm” to describe her.

Simpson recently told Oprah Winfrey that she was not happy about Mayer’s public comments.

Simpson, on her new TV show, travels around the globe to look at what is considered beautiful in different cultures. “Wonder if she brought any souvenirs back for Mr. Mayer?” that snide Post asked.

But the best is in another section of the Post, the “Ask Ashley” sex advice column written by the notorious Ashley Dupre, the New Jersey-bred hooker whose escapades with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer brought him down.

This week Mike from New Jersey asked Duprey, “What, exactly, is ‘sexual napalm’? And doesn’t that seem like a bad thing? “

Duprey, we guess based on her years in a career that required discretion, made it clear how she feels about Mayer.

“OK, first let me say how much of a douchebag I think John Mayer is,” she wrote. “(Am I allowed to say douchebag in The Post? Because that is the perfect word to describe him — so I’m using it! Oh, and any man who thinks John Mayer is the man, well, you’re a douchebag, too. So there.)”

Duprey wasn’t finished.

“Why he felt he needed to broadcast that Jessica was like ‘crack cocaine’ when it comes to sex is beyond me,” she wrote. “She has a sister, a family and a freakin’ nephew now! How old are you, John? 15? Sounds like it.”

And we loved Duprey’s “kicker,” as we say in the journalism business.

“Now that’s out of the way, ‘napalm’ refers to chemicals that can cause an explosion,” she wrote. “By putting sexual in front of it, I guess he meant what they experienced was a ‘sexual explosion’ of sorts, which to me seems more like a compliment. But really, only he knows what he means by all of his gibberish. And at this point, I’m the even bigger douchebag for sitting here and writing about it. But I do feel better now.”

QVC Vendor Jessica Simpson’s Stylist Sidekick, Ken Paves, May Have His Part In Her VH1 Show Cut, Says New York Post

March 12, 2010

The New York Post’s Page Six Friday claims that VH1 is looking to trim hair stylist Ken Paves’ role in Jessica Simpson’s new show “The Price of Beauty.”

Paves and unlucky-in-love Simpson, both QVC vendors, are going around the world to report on how beauty standards differ from country to country. The Post claims that Paves’ initial role was just to do Simpson’s hair, but that he stayed put when the cameras started rolling and essentialy horned his way into the show.

Paves hawks Jessica Simpson hair extensions on QVC, while the blonde has a line of accessories there.

Fellow QVC Vendors Jessica Simpson And Ken Paves Have VH1 Reality Show That Premieres March 15

January 16, 2010

Will Simpson have another hit like MTV's Newlyweds?

MTV Networks PR team must be taking its cue from QVC’s sleepy group. We are supposed to be getting press releases from MTVN and its networks, including the announcements being made out in Pasadena at the Television Critics Association tour.

We’re not getting squat, so we missed Friday’s TCA news about Jessica Simpson getting a new show, “The Price of Beauty,” on VH1. It debuts March 15 at 10 p.m.

Simpson, whose first appearances selling her handbags and accessories on QVC was a disaster, did a TCA panel with her pervert dad Joe about the new show (maybe it’s OK in Texas to talk about your daughter’s big boobs, but we lock people up Jersey for stuff like that).

The New York Daily News wrote a story Saturday about Simpson’s TCA session.

The reality series depicts Simpson and her hair stylist and fellow QVC vendor, Ken Paves, traveling the world to interview women about beauty. He hawks Simpson hair extensions on QVC.

Simpson became a celebrity via an MTV reality show, “Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica,” which featured her and her now ex-husband Nick Lachey.

Here is the original full old press release (since we didn’t get any new ones) about Simpson’s new show.

No matter where you are in the world, chances are, you know that Jessica Simpson is no stranger to the spotlight. Her hit pop and country songs, movies, television and eponymous collection of shoes, clothes, bags etc. have helped to keep her in America’s eye, but we all know Jessica for more than just her career achievements. Jessica has been followed, studied and scrutinized since she released her first hit single at the age of 19. Now, Jessica turns the tables on our culture and cultures all over the world to find The Price of Beauty, her new original series on VH1.

The new VH1 docu-series, produced by RDF USA (Wife Swap, Secret Millionaire), takes Jessica all over the world to meet every day women. She may also discover some local pop culture icons on their own quests for beauty along the way. Jessica will study the local fashions, dietary fads and beauty regimes and even participate in some of the extreme practices she discovers.

“When Chris approached me with his idea for a show about true beauty, I was immediately intrigued,” Jessica stated. “I have always believed that beauty comes from within and confidence will always make a woman beautiful, but I know how much pressure some women put on themselves to look perfect. I am really looking forward to discovering how beauty is perceived in different cultures and participating in some of the crazy things people do to feel beautiful. I know we will all learn a lot on this journey and I am so excited that VH1 is coming along on what I’m sure will be a wild ride.”

Chris Coelen, CEO of RDF Media USA, said: “In this series, Jessica will tackle a serious issue with her unique and relatable blend of humor and heart. We’re thrilled to be in business with Jessica, Joe and VH1 on what we know will be an exciting and eye-opening show.”

“Perhaps more than any other pop culture figure on the radar today, Jessica Simpson has been the target of our obsession with beauty on both sides of the equation. She is a woman who can set trends and create firestorms with a single photo,” said Jeff Olde, EVP, VH1 Original Programming & Production. “We could not be more thrilled that Jessica now gets to take control of that conversation and take a look at the idea of beauty through her own unique, unfiltered lens. And we at VH1 are excited to be in the passenger seat next to her as she begins this fantastic journey.”

The Price of Beauty is set to begin shooting in mid July. Executive Producers include Jessica and Joe Simpson as well as Chris Coelen, Claire O’Donohoe and Greg Goldman for RDF USA (Wife Swap, Secret Millionaire). The show will be produced by Jeff Olde, Jill Holmes, Alex Demyanenko and Sean Boyle for VH1 to air in 2010.
Tags: Celebreality, Television, Jessica Simpson