October 20, 2016
        "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race                "The Jungle Book," "Zootopia" and Craft Artists to be Honored at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Ben Affleck's "Live By Night" officially is a 2016 contender        

Wendie Malick discusses working with Betty White on ‘Hot in Cleveland’

By Greg Hernandez

HollywoodNews.com: Wendie Malick was so good as the narcissistic, boozy fashion model-turned-magazine fashion editor Nina Van Horn on the sitcom “Just Shoot Me!,” it’s hard to imagine her in a more delicious role.

After the series ended in 2003, she went on to play Martin Crane’s girlfriend in the final season of “Frasier,” John Stamos’s agent in two seasons of “Jake in Progress” and the mother of the bride in the short-lived ABC comedy “Big Day.”

Now she’s back on series television in a big hit called “Hot In Cleveland” in which she stars with Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and the legendary Betty White. She series premiered this summer on TV Land and has been renewed for s second season.

“We’ve all had been doing this for so long,” Wendie pointed out when we talked recently. “I think we all figured that combined, we all had been working in comedy for about 187 years. We just weren’t sure if people anted to see something about women who were our ages: Valerie and Jane are pushing 50, I’m pushing 60 and Betty’s pushing 90.”

It turns out people did want to see it and the premiere episode was TV Land’s highest rated telecast in the cable network’s 14-year history.

“We have such an incredible demographic who watch this show it’s really amazing,” Wendie says. “I think part of it is going back to old-fashioned sitcom storytelling, it’s like the classic form. Really solid writers who know about jokes but they also build characters and the relationships. This really harkens back to the old days when you really started to invest in those people you watched every week. I think you can tell that we all adore each other but still give each other a lot of crap.”

Wendie, Valerie and Jane play three past-their-prime entertainment industry veterans from Los Angeles whose lives are changed when their Paris-bound plane lands in Cleveland, Ohio. There they find a welcoming community that is less shallow, youth-obsessed and weight-conscious than L.A., and where one of them leases a home with a sassy caretaker played by Miss White.

Did she know from the beginning that they had something special?

“We kind of did,” Wendie says. “We had high hopes for it and it seemed like they were putting all the right pieces together but as you know, you can put the greatest people in the world together and somehow it doesn’t work. So that first day when we did the first table read we kind of went, ‘Whoa. I think we’re onto something very fine here. And it as true, something was going on.”

Wendie plays a five-times divorced soap opera star named Victoria Chase whose long-running soap has just been canceled after 27 years on the air. [Real-life soap legend Susan Lucci recently guested as Victoria’s arch-nemesis]

To read more go to GregInHollywood.com.

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About Greg Hernandez

Greg Hernandez has written about the entertainment world for more than a decade. He is a veteran of covering many Academy Awards shows (plus Emmys, Grammys and Golden Globes) as well as film festivals, movie premieres and philanthropic events. Hernandez founded the popular Out In Hollywood blog while a writer and columnist for the "Los Angeles Daily News." He’s also a former staff writer at the "Los Angeles Times" and "The Hollywood Reporter" and has been a contributing writer to "The Advocate." Greg is the founder and editor of Greginhollywood.com

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