12:00pm PT by Rick Porter
Bethenny Frankel to Topline HBO Max Competition Series
Bethenny Frankel is returning to her reality TV roots with a competition series at HBO Max.
The Skinnygirl founder and former Real Housewives of New York City star will front an eight-episode series called The Big Shot With Bethenny, in which aspiring business moguls compete for a job on Frankel's executive team. The Apprentice-like show hails from MGM TV, Mark Burnett and Frankel's B Real Productions.
"I first met Bethenny when I put her on the first season of The Real Housewives of New York City, and she's always both impressed and entertained me," Jennifer O’Connell, executive vp original non-fiction and kids programming at HBO Max, said Wednesday in a statement. "It's incredible to see her empire continue to grow, and I know that candidates will be clamoring to work for her."
Said Frankel, "Aside from motherhood, what truly defines me as a person is being a driven, passionate and hard-working woman determined to make the impossible possible. My mantra is to come from a place of 'yes' and to find and create the solution. I am an executor of visions, and I share and impart that information to those who work with me. MGM has been neck-in-neck with me with ideas and their execution. I couldn’t be more thrilled to continue my longstanding relationship with Mark Burnett on this series and pay this American Dream story forward."
Frankel's first TV exposure came on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart (a spinoff of Burnett's Apprentice franchise) in 2006, where she finished as runner-up. She also has made several appearances on Burnett's Shark Tank on ABC, in addition to eight seasons on Real Housewives, two seasons of the spinoff Bethenny Ever After and a syndicated talk show that ran in the 2013-14 season.
"Bethenny is that rare talent whose creative instincts are equal to her business acumen, and working with her to create this series has been an amazing collaboration,” said Barry Poznick, president unscripted and alternative television at MGM and president Orion Television. "We're giving fans what they want, access inside Bethenny's businesses so they can see how she runs her empire, all while offering one fan the chance of a lifetime to join her executive team. We’ve found the perfect home in HBO Max to bring this exclusive opportunity to viewers."
Big Fish Entertainment is producing along with MGM TV and B Real. Burnett, Poznick, Frankel, Dan Cesareo and Lucilla D'Agostino are executive producers.
The Big Shot With Bethenny joins a slate of 15 other unscripted originals (along with about 30 scripted shows) at HBO Max. The WarnerMedia streaming platform is set to launch in May with plans to debut 31 originals in its first year, growing to 50 in year two. It also will feature an extensive library of past shows from HBO, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network and other WarnerMedia properties. A premiere date for The Big Shot hasn't been set.