The Washington Post

Betty White: Star of a new hidden-camera series for NBC

Betty White will star in a new NBC series. (Michael Buckner/GETTY IMAGES)

White will host.

No, April Fools Day is tomorrow -- this is for real, NBC insists.

It’s based on a very successful reality show format that’s been sold in more than 20 territories including France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, throughout Scandinavia, and South Korea. NBC says the program has been an overnight ratings hit everywhere it’s run, regularly doubling network averages.

The versions running overseas are not — repeat not — sweet little shows about adorablly daffy old folk you want to take home and feed cake to and introduce to granny.

The U.S. version, on the other hand, is already showing distressing signs of being sweeted-up for this more prudish place. It’s been been given the working title “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” which is kinda tame, vaguely ageist, and pretty patronizing, so hopefully that will change. But maybe not: in Thursday’s announcement, White contributed the canned : “People have been telling me I’m ‘Off My Rocker’ for years — now I can prove it.”

The original version is called (English translation here) “Benidorm Bastards” -- Benidorm being a holiday/beach/retirement community in Spain.

White, who just turned 89, starred on NBC back in the 80s in the sitcom “The Golden Girls”; these days she seems to show up everywhere, and she’s among the stars of TVLand’s sitcom “Hot in Cleveland” which has been picked up for a third season.


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