Hot in Cleveland returns to TV Land January 19 with a lineup of amazing guest stars, including Mary Tyler Moore, Melanie Griffith and more! SheKnows got the story on the new season, Bettymania and what makes a woman “hot” from Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Hot in Cleveland showrunner Suzanne Martin.
After a breakout first season, Hot in Cleveland is back for more laughs and they’ve invited another round of amazing guest stars, including Mary Tyler Moore, Bonnie Franklin, Huey Lewis, Melanie Griffith, Wayne Knight, Carl Reiner, Sherri Shepherd, Jimmy Kimmel and Jon Lovitz — not to mention an All My Children crossover.
The cross-network event brings All My Children stars Susan Lucci, Michael E. Knight and Darnell Williams to Hot in Cleveland on February 16 and 23. Wendie Malick’s soap star character Victoria Chase will clock in as a maid on All My Children, February 24.
But wait, there’s more: SheKnows has learned there’s a Robert Wagner guest gig in the works, too!
Hot in Cleveland is back!
SheKnows: Betty and Valerie, what was it like to work with former costars Mary Tyler Moore and Bonnie Franklin again?
Betty White: Mary and I have stayed friends through the years, of course. We were great personal friends before I ever did her show years ago, but we haven’t worked together in 33 years, so it was great fun. And she’s a dynamite lady. She lives in New York. I live in Los Angeles, so we don’t see each other that often. It was a great reunion.
Valerie Bertinelli: I love Bonnie. She’s like my second mother, so to have her on the show was a real treat for me. I turned into a 15-year-old girl again wanting my mother’s approval, remembering One Day at a Time and how I felt about her. It was a lot of fun.
SheKnows: What’s the story on the All My Children crossover?
Wendie Malick: Last season, my character won her first Emmy after 27 years on this soap opera. Unfortunately, we had a tornado in Cleveland, so I couldn’t go and accept it myself, and Susan Lucci accepted it on my behalf. She’s my nemesis and has been from the beginning of this show. Susan, who happens to be a very wonderful comedian, wanted to come back and play with us, so they wrote a great two-part show where she comes to visit us and we do a show within a show. It’s all so confusing. It sort of boggles my mind. But at some point, [Victoria Chase] will be doing a guest appearance on All My Children. She will be in the credits.
SheKnows: Which women in this biz do you consider to be hot and why?
Valerie Bertinelli: Pink, Sally Field, Sandra Bullock.
Wendie Malick: Helen Mirren.
Jane Leeves: Me too, and men find her incredibly sexy. Meryl Streep gets me going.
Wendie Malick: Robin Wright is hot.
Betty White: I like guys better [laughs].
SheKnows: What makes these women hot?
Jane Leeves: The confidence. They’ve grown into themselves and become just these fabulous, confident women.
Wendie Malick: We often have talked about this among ourselves. We believe one of the reasons this show has legs is the notion that beauty is being comfortable in your own skin. More and more women are accepting who they are and all the experience they have and celebrating that. We’re sort of redefining what it is to be a vibrant, beautiful woman.
SheKnows: Is Betty White your secret weapon in nabbing all those amazing guest stars on Hot in Cleveland?
Suzanne Martin: I don’t think there’s anyone that doesn’t love to work with Betty and want to work with Betty, so that makes it easier when we make the phone calls to people. And I think the show’s fun and people can tell it would be a fun show to be on, and we’re very welcoming.
SheKnows: Betty, what has made you into one of the most-loved people around, these days?
Betty White: Oh my dear, have I got you fooled! [Laughs] I was an only child with a wonderful mother and father, and they both had delicious senses of humor. We laughed a lot, and we made a lot of jokes. You grow up looking at the funny side rather than the negative side, and it gets you through some very bad times, sometimes.
SheKnows: Wendie, Jane and Valerie, you’re sitcom vets in your own right, but what is it like to work with Betty?
Jane Leeves: It’s inspirational.
Valerie Bertinelli: Betty really is, iconic as she is, a regular gal. She hangs out with us and she’s part of a team.
Betty White: What is this Betty White business? This is very silly. You’ve had such an overdose of me lately. I think I’m going to go away for a while.
Wendie Malick: Back to the questions: We all feel so grateful to be in each other’s presence at this point in our lives. Suzanne created this remarkable show about women who are in various stages of their lives who are all reinventing themselves.
Valerie Bertinelli: And who aren’t catty to each other.
Wendie Malick: And who all have their little issues, but who, underneath it all, truly love each other, and get in and out of ridiculous situations. I just turned 60 on December 13…
Valerie Bertinelli: I still want to see the birth certificate [laughs].
Wendie Malick: Laughter is the greatest medicine — gives you good smile lines instead of the grumpy ones and I think it wards off bad juju.
Valerie Bertinelli: And it burns calories.
Betty White: I’ll tell you what’s wonderful about working with these ladies: They’re pros. They’ve come off of big, successful shows and they’re so professional about their career, unlike some of the younger actresses. My advice to young stars is: Don’t believe your own publicity, and don’t abuse your privileges.
Jane Leeves: We have a work ethic, all of us. That’s something I’ve learned from you [Betty], as well. Your work ethic is so strong. You are so prepared.
Betty White: Well, I don’t think of it as work.
Jane Leeves: We laugh a little bit too much sometimes.
Betty White: Why I love this season even better than last season is we’ve got a dog.
Valerie Bertinelli: Charlie’s so cute. He’s a mix of a Bernese mountain dog. He’s a rescue.
SheKnows: Betty, you seem to be a bit embarrassed by all this attention: Do you find yourself having to be very selective in what you do now?
Betty White: My mother taught me to say no when I was a girl, but that wasn’t about show business. It’s hard for me to say no to a job because you spend your career thinking if you say no, they’ll never ask you again. I’m trying to cut down. But when you love what you do so much — and this lady [Martin] gives us such fun things to do that it’s a privilege.