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"The response to Fat Actress has been phenomenal," said Tony Lynn, Senior Vice President, Program Distribution for Showtime. "Never in the history of this company has one of our projects caught the imagination of the public, the press and our retailers as exceptionally well as this series. It truly is amazing. As such, due to high demand, we have re-structured our business plan for Fat Actress by giving its fans what they want – the DVD now."
Fat Actress, a seven-episode, half-hour hybrid comedy/reality series starring two-time Emmy® Award winner Kirstie Alley that was inspired by Alley's real life, debuted on Showtime on Monday, March 7th with unprecedented ratings and press response for the network. Taking her life experiences and recreating them in the extreme, Alley plays a fictional version of herself – a successful television and movie star whose weight gain has become the subject of every tabloid imaginable as well as the bane of her existence as she tries to find work and true love in an unforgiving Hollywood. This irreverent series, which is co-created and executive produced by Alley and Brenda Hampton ("Seventh Heaven"), is unscripted, with each episode emanating from a story outline and the actors largely improvising the dialogue. Sandy Chanley ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") also executive produces through her production company, Production Partners, Inc. The director of the series is Keith Truesdell.
Bravely willing to lampoon her image that has been mercilessly ridiculed over the past few years, Alley gives us a glimpse of the humor and the irony in her battle to lose weight and get back on television in a tough business that prefers the once-svelte version of the Emmy® Award-winning star of "Cheers." Stories are drawn from a heightened perception of her real-life experiences, and some of Alley's friends – including John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Kid Rock, Carmen Electra, Melissa Gilbert, Leah Remini, Merv Griffin, Kevin Nealon, Mark Curry, Mayim Bialick, Edie McClurg, Connie Stevens and NBC Chief Jeff Zucker, among others - appear as themselves in guest cameos that further blurs the lines between truth and fiction. Anyone struggling with issues about weight or self-esteem – or just looking for love and happiness – will identify with Alley's life.
"A laugh out delight" raved the Detroit News about the show. "A fearless Kirstie Alley in all her raunchy screwball glory". The New York Post exclaimed: "Worth the Weight! Wildly innovative, weep-with-laugher….laugh-out-loud stuff reaches a lose-your-breath pinnacle."
Kirstie Alley became a household name playing "Rebecca Howe" on the hit television series "Cheers" for which she won both a Golden Globe® and an Emmy® Award. Her flair for comedy translated to the big screen in movies like Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry," "Look Who's Talking" and "Look Who's Talking Too." In 1997, Alley returned to television to produce and star in the sitcom "Veronica's Closet," which ran for three seasons.
Brenda Hampton, co-creator of the series, created and currently executive produces "Seventh Heaven," the smash hit drama that has been running for eight years on The WB. While known primarily for this family drama, Hampton has actually spent most of her career writing and producing several successful sitcoms such as "Mad About You," "The John Larroquette Show" and "Blossom.
Sandy Chanley, who produced the first two seasons of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," brings incredible knowledge of unscripted comedy series production to the creative team. She has also produced a number of highly-regarded comedy specials including: "Bill Maher: Be More Cynical," "Chris Rock: Bigger and Blacker," "Chris Rock: Bring The Pain," "D.L. Hughley: Goin' Home," "Janeane Garofolo," and many others.