THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100
Since her 2005 stint on NBC's The Apprentice, Frankel has become emblematic of reality television's holy grail. After a meteoric rise to fame on Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City, Frankel landed her own spinoff in 2010, Bethenny Getting Married?, documenting her pregnancy and marriage to businessman Jason Hoppy (the show became Bravo's highest-rated series premiere, attracting 2.1 million total viewers).
Frankel has gone from single, starving small-business owner to television mogul, wife and mother who sold her Skinnygirl cocktail line to Beam Global this year for an astonishing $120 million. "Not too long ago, I didn't have anything at all," says Frankel, who has expanded her Skinnygirl brand into weight-loss supplements, shapewear, publishing and a speaking tour. "It's been abrupt: fame, marriage, baby, success."
As filming wraps on the third season of her series (now titled Bethenny Ever After, which averaged 1.4 million viewers in season two), the mother to 19-month-old Bryn is contemplating her next steps. "I have a couple things on the fire, probably three or four, including a few project possibilities with Bravo. We've been great partners," says The New York Times best-selling author, whose debut fiction novel, Skinny Dipping, hits stands in May 2012.
Although a syndicated talk show produced by Telepictures and Ellen DeGeneres came to nothing (though additional development deals are in the works), Frankel, 41, hints at the possibility of one day taking her life story to the big screen: "I've been approached, but you have to make the right choices. I'm not going to force anything."
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