Last night, I got a close look at The Beautiful Life. No, I wasn't shopping on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills; I was watching the pilot for one of The CW's new fall shows. The Beautiful Life is America's Top Model meets Gossip Girl. The show follows a group of fashion models, who are all at different stages of their careers, as they work and play in New York.
Sara Paxton is Raina, the teen model who is running away from a bad home life. Fate has pushed her into the spotlight and now she has to figure out what to do with it. Benjamin Hollingsworth is Chris, the Iowa farmboy who is gets discovered while in NY with his family. He sees it as a chance to get out of Iowa while offering financial support to his family, but he's surprised to find that opportunities often come with strings attached.
The big name on the bill is The OC's Mischa Barton, as Sonja, the former top model who fell from grace when she mysteriously fell off the grid for months. Now she wants back on top but she's finding that in the modeling biz, you're only as hot as your last gig.
The pilot episode stays focused on the modeling biz, opening with a Zac Posen fashion show and following the models through go-sees and to a networking party. In addition to the leads, there are a half-dozen other models including High School Musical's Corbin Bleu who all live in the model's dorm. You also get introduced to the model management company, which is run by Claudia, played by real supermodel Elle Macpherson.
I suspect that as The Beautiful Life progresses, we'll spend more time with the relationship dramas than with the modeling itself. With so many pretty, young people in the cast, the romantic combinations alone are enough to keep the show running for a whole season. Add in the catty backstabbing, the jockeying for top model position and the mysterious secret lives they all seem to have, and you've got a great guilty pleasure.
The Beautiful Life comes to The CW this fall, airing Wednesdays at 9:00 after (not coincidentally) America's Next Top Model.
Tonight's top TV picks:
Tonight, the Big Brother 11 contestants have a certain glow about them, as they head into the veto challenge for a chance to secure their place in the house for next week. Have an early favorite? Let us know in the comments below.
Watch Big Brother 11 at 9:00 on CBS.
Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer stars in tonight's episode about a gang of bank robbers who are using a charmed LP record in order to subdue their victims.
Watch Warehouse 13 at 9:00 on Syfy.
Bravo's latest docu-drama takes us to Miami where young professionals rock the boardroom by day and the dance floor by night. You've got George, the mortgage broker who is divorced from real estate agent Sorah. Ariel is a fashion producer while Hardy hosts posh parties for a living. Katrina is a former Apprentice contestant who is out to become the next Donald Trump while Russian Maria is working her way up in the art world. Overseeing it all is Michael, entertainment correspondent and single dad. Slip on those strappy sandals and mix up the margaritas -- it's the premiere of Miami Social.
Watch Miami Social at 10:00 on Bravo.
With his wedding close at hand, a young man asks for help getting his parents clean and sober. The tricky part, they're a long running nightclub act which means there is no escaping the free-flowing booze. Stage and screen star Shirley Jones guests.
Watch The Cleaner at 10:00 on A&E.
Ryan Seacrest signs a deal with American Idol's parent company that triples his salary to $15 million a year. To be fair, he has to do more than just host Idol to earn his paycheck, but it's still a pretty good deal, wouldn't you say?
DIY Network is bringing back Blog Cabin in August.
Showtime is in development on a religious themed series about a minister who moves to Texas with his children after the death of his wife.
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has put up an Emmy website for consumers for the first time. Emmy.com will have live streaming of the event which airs on September 20, along with unaired content, and I imagine some blogging, Twittering and all that fun stuff.
Can't wait for the return of Project Runway? Lifetime has a new mini-site that will help you make it work.
The Beautiful Life -- Pictured: Corbin Bleu as Isaac, Mischa Barton as Sonja, Nico Tortorella as Kai, Sara Paxton as Raina, Ben Hollingsworth as Chris, Ashley Madekwe as Marissa, Jordan Woolley as Egan. Photo Credit: Jan Thijs / 2009 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Big Brother-- Pictured left to right: Jordan, Laura, and Braden Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS
Miami Social -- Pictured: Katrina -- Bravo Photo: Mitchell Zachs
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