Lisa de Moraes
Lisa de Moraes
The TV Column

Rihanna lands show on Style network

Laurence Cendrowicz - PBS has picked up a second season of “Call the Midwife,” announcing Wednesday that the eight-episode second season will debut March 31.

Rihanna, who’s turning into a sort of Charo of singing-competition series, is finally getting a competition show of her own.

Only it’s about fashion instead of singing. Because Rihanna is a “fashion icon,” the “epitome of style” and a “trendsetter” who has a “powerful and unique point of view that transcends every aspect of pop culture including fashion,” Style network said in Wednesday’s announcement.

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Pulitzer Prize winner, Peabody recipient, Medal of Freedom honoree -- Lisa de Moraes is none of these, but she is an authority on the bad direction, over-acting, and muddled plot lines being played out in the TV industry's executive suites.

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(Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) - In her upcoming “Styled to Rock,” Rihanna will pick 12 designers and give them the opportunity to create outfits for “A-list celebrity talent.”

And because, the singer added, “Fashion has always played an integral part in my life and career.”

Anyway, the NBC Universal-owned cable network that’s home to “Tia & Tamera,” “Jerseylicious” and “Giuliana & Bill” has ordered 10 one-hour episodes of “Styled to Rock,” in which Rihanna will handpick 12 wannabe designers and give them the opportunity to create free outfits for “A-list celebrity talent.”

Do these people ever pay for anything?

To help the aspiring designers reach their ultimate artistic potential, Rihanna will enlist the guidance of top experts from the fashion industry to serve as mentors.

Each week, Rihanna will give challenges to her band of designers to push their creative limits when they are tasked with styling “an A-list star.” That week’s celebrity guest will determine which designer created the outfit he or she likes best — I mean, which designer “best achieves their vision” — and advances to the next week of competition. The remaining designers must meet in tribal council with the mentors to determine where they fell short and whose flame will be extinguished that week.

No actual A-listers are mentioned in the announcement, but Will Smith’s Overlook Entertainment is one of the production companies, so that’s maybe a clue.

Style said that “Styled to Rock” will be executive-produced by Robyn Rihanna Fenty — yeah, right, whatevs — and actually produced by Overlook and by Shed Media, whose credits include “Supernanny,” “The Real Housewives of New York City,” “Who Do You Think You Are?” “Bethenny Ever After,” “All-American Muslim” and “Basketball Wives.”

‘Midwife’ re-delivered

PBS finally confirmed speculation that it has picked up a second season of “Call the Midwife,” announcing Wednesday that the eight-episode second season will debut March 31.

PBS has also bought broadcast rights to the “Call the Midwife” Christmas special, which will air Dec. 30.

The show, based on the best-selling memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth, is set in East London in the 1950s and follows the midwives and the nuns of Nonnatus House, a nursing convent coping with the medical problems in a deprived area of East London in the 1950s.

The six-episode first season of the series clocked 3 million viewers on PBS — 50 percent above the programming service’s prime-time average for the 2011-12 TV season. (In the UK, the series opened with a crowd of 11.4 million tuned in, making it the highest-rated BBC new-drama launch on record.)

Braaains at AMC say . . .

Three days after AMC telecast the midseason finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” — clocking nearly 11 million viewers and becoming this season’s highest-rated drama series among the 18- to 49-year-olds advertisers prefer — Discovery Channel announced a date for its new special, “Zombie Apocalypse.”

The special had been scheduled for Dec. 18 as part of the channel’s Apocalypse Tuesday lineup — a convenient three days before 12/21/12, which, according to some, marks the end of the world.

“From ‘The Walking Dead’ to bath salts causing zombie-like attacks, zombie culture is everywhere, and there’s a core group of seemingly ordinary people prepping in the event that the zombie apocalypse staggers out of fiction and becomes reality,” Discovery said.

Discovery also said “as belief spreads throughout the science community” — implying that the belief is spreading through the “science community.” How does Discovery know this? They’ve spoken with actual “Ivy League professors and scientists” who “describe the plausibility of this scenario.”

In addition to Ivy League professors, the special profiles a mother of two who’s teaching her children to fight zombies; the founder of the Kansas Anti-Zombie militia, who has a secret location stockpiled with all the supplies necessary to keep him alive during the apocalypse; and an ex-military firearms instructor who, Discovery says ominously, wouldn’t hesitate to kill a zombie.

Well, who would? People for the Ethical Treatment of Zombies?

Discovery’s fun-filled Apocalypse Tuesday will begin at 8 p.m. with “How the World Will End.” After that laugh riot, it’s on to “Apocalypse 2012 Revelations” at 9 and “Zombie Apocalypse” wrapping up the night, at 10.

“Zombie Apocalypse” is produced for Discovery Channel by Firecracker Films, which also gave the world “Monsters in My Head,” “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding,” “My Mom Is Obsessed,” “Demon Exorcist,” “Head Over Heels in Rats,” “Erotomania,” “The Man Whose Arms Exploded” — and “Susan Boyle: An Unlikely Superstar.”

 
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