Jenny McCarthy spent fifteen years with a studio behind her, in one hold deal or another, trying to develop a vehicle for herself, she reminded television critics, LA TV Insider Examiner included, during the TCA tour in Los Angeles earlier today. She ended up in development on a daytime talk show that never really came to fruition, which she spun into a positive thing, noting she would feel "pigeonholed" or "handcuffed" in daytime. Though McCarthy has authored a number of books on motherhood and health and the like, which is perfect daytime fodder, she is eager to have the opportunity to embrace her inner "dirty girl" in late night now, on VH1. Her The Jenny McCarthy Project talk show, then, should be considered more akin to "Jen-X: Jenny McCarthy's Open Book."
How's that for a throwback?
"What is missing in late night— to me— is a bit of sexiness,” McCarthy said. "Not that Jay Leno is not sexy, but I l feel like the template that I talked about is Playboy After Dark. What I love that Hugh Hefner did was kind of have this sexy, after hours party but also have really great conversations with his guests. That was really my goal...trying to incorporate that kind of sexiness with having really great conversations with celebrities."
The Jenny McCarthy Project is geared up to be a "360 pop culture experience" in a party atmosphere. Though at press time today, McCarthy admitted she didn't have guests lined up for her winter debut just yet ("It's really tricky to get great people right off the bat, but I'm going to try!"), she planned to have her "sister and soulmate" with her at all times, as well as a VIP section, gaggle of girlfriends, hot men, and "odd" celebrities. Her "test" show featured Bradley Cooper in a segment that McCarthy hopes to keep around for the real series, "Groundbreaking Interviews."
"I wanted to kind of put my own stamp on how I do celebrity interviews, so I’ve been doing a segment right now...where I take the celebrity and we literally lay on the ground and we look up and we have the camera overhead, and I interview them in a casual conversation,” McCarthy said.
"The celebrity kind of lets go and has a little bit more of a conversational tone."
McCarthy also plans to incorporate physical games, field pieces and "man on the street" segments. Referencing Leno again, McCarthy shared on particularly memorable one called "Drunk, Dumb, or Both?" in which she and her camera crew stands outside a bar at 2 a.m. and asks the men stumbling out questions like "What color is my red boat?" and "What is the capital of New York City?"
Back during McCarthy's Singled Out days, she always focused on "cheering on the girls and making fun of the guys," and today she shared she is continuing down that path, noting that she also believes today's television audience can "smell bullshit a mile away" and plans to create something as natural and fun as possible.
The Jenny McCarthy Project premieres on VH1 on February 8th 2013 at 10:30 p.m.
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