The TV Column: Kris Jenner, matriarch of the Kardashian family, getting a talk show

January 28, 2013

Mama Kardashian is getting her own talk show.

Technically, Kris Jenner is getting a six-week tryout as a daytime host this summer.

NewsCorp.’s Fox TV stations division — and its syndication operation, Twentieth Television — said that Jenner would get a test run on select Fox-owned TV stations, of which Washington’s WTTG is one (although the station’s not saying whether it’s among those selected).

“Kris” will be pop-culture-driven, delivering to viewers a “daily jolt of celebrity guests, fashion and beauty trends, plus a mix of lifestyle topics,” Twentieth Television said Monday, clarifying that “Kris” would not be a political talk show, as you might have thought.

Jenner would be the second Kardashian Klan member with a job at the corporation; daughter Khloe is “The X Factor” “Ko-host” best known for reading her cue cards as if she’s taking the eye exam at the DMV. “How Does It Feel?” is her trademark question on the Simon Cowell-created singing competition — in fact, it’s her only question.


Kris Jenner is getting a six-week tryout as a daytime host this summer. “Kris” will be pop-culture-driven. (Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Sony)

The “Kris” announcement was made the same day that Twentieth TV announced it had renewed its syndicated celebrity newsmag “Dish Nation,” but the company’s lips are still sealed as to the fate of its Ricki Lake talker, which has been the subject of “to be plowed under” speculation.

Twentieth TV exec VP Stephen Brown said Monday that he thinks Jenner’s show will complement the operation’s Wendy Williams and “Bethenny” Frankel talk shows — both of which also started as six-week test runs.

At last, PBS gets Salinger

PBS member station WNET has secured rights to the oft-delayed J.D. Salinger bio-doc, which will air as the 200th episode of PBS’s “American Masters” series, debuting next January.

“ ‘American Masters’ covers the finest artists this country has produced, from Ernest Hemingway to John Lennon, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Woody Allen. Salinger is an American master, and I wanted to see him in the company of those artists,” the project’s director, Shane Salerno, told the Web site Deadline.com Monday.

It’s one of few “American Master” projects not generated in-house, and Salerno retains full ownership of the film.

An earlier version of the project was finished years ago, but it never aired because the reclusive Salinger died, after which some of his friends and colleagues who’d turned down interview requests changed their minds about going forward, Deadline explained.

Susan Lacy of “American Masters,” now billed as an exec producer, said it is her “intellectual and emotional thrill” to snag the movie about the enigmatic author for her franchise’s 200th broadcast.


Barbara Walters has been MIA from “The View” for days, and it turns out she has the chicken pox. (Charles Sykes/AP)
A pox on ‘The View’

And by “low grade fever,” they mean “chicken pox.”

Barbara Walters, turns out, has the chicken pox, Whoopi Goldberg announced Monday morning on Babs’s daytime talker “The View.”

Walters has been MIA from the show for days. Last week, Goldberg told viewers that owing to “a low-grade fever,” Babs was being kept in the hospital. Babs was hospitalized after she hit her head on the steps of the British Embassy in Washington during an inaugural party.

Since then, ABC has learned that doctors have diagnosed Babs’s elevated temperature as a case of chicken pox.

“You all know that she fell and cut her head 10 days ago, and then was running a temperature, but it turns out it is all the result of a delayed childhood,” Whoopi said.

“She’d never had [chicken pox] as a child. So now she’s been told to rest, she’s not allowed any visitors — and we’re telling you, Barbara, no scratching!” Whoopi added.

Babs transferred to a New York hospital late last week, ABC said Monday.

“I’m really sorry that I blamed it on Grey Goose vodka the other day,” “The View” colleague Joy Behar said of Babs’s step stumble, adding: “This is what you get for interviewing Honey Boo Boo.”

More on ‘SVU’ and Tyson

Joyful Heart Foundation, which was founded by “Law & Order: SVU” star Mariska Hargitay to aid sexual-abuse victims, has disassociated itself from the show’s decision to employ convicted rapist Mike Tyson as a guest star.

“First and foremost, I want to say, ‘We hear you,’ “ foundation CEO Maile Zambuto said on the group’s Web site. “We acknowledge and recognize that this casting decision may be confusing, triggering and perhaps even painful for some people — especially those who are survivors of violence and abuse.”

While acknowledging the foundation “would not exist if not for the show” — and that in recent years the foundation has partnered with “SVU” on various campaigns — “it is not a part of any formal relationship,” Zambuto said.

“We were not aware of this casting choice and we have formally expressed our concerns to the executives and producers at ‘SVU,’ ” continued Zambuto, adding: “We are deeply sorry if this choice on the part of ‘SVU’ has, in any way, caused any hurt.”

That’s an odd choice of words, given the clearly “hurt” comments attached to some of the nearly 6,300 signatures — including some by sexual-abuse survivors and fans of the show — on a Change.org-sponsored petition to try to persuade NBC and “L&Q:SVU” to reconsider the casting.

To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/
tvblog
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