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The Beautiful Life was out of step


News

September 27, 2009/1.39


Nico Tortorella and Mischa Barton in The Beautiful Life
The CW
 

Above Nico Tortorella and Mischa Barton in The Beautiful Life.

We didn’t think the CW’s The Beautiful Life would last long, but we didn’t expect it to be canned after two episodes.
   It didn’t help that one of its stars, Anglo-American actress Mischa Barton, sought psychiatric treatment months before the series’ début, leading producers (including Ashton Kutcher) to assure the network that there was a back-up plan.
   While tabloids centred around Barton’s health problems, there didn’t seem to be that much attention for The Beautiful Life among those who might have checked out a series about the New York fashion scene.
   It’s easy for us to discuss this in hindsight, but the signs were there: the announcement that Elle Macpherson had been cast, which we covered, didn’t get many viewers for us. In fact, the BBC’s Material Girl is receiving more interest at Lucire—and that’s on a site that has many more American readers than British ones.
   The network, and Kutcher, had high hopes for the series, and the CW had paired it with America’s Next Top Model.
   But that might have not been the wisest move, either. Those who watch reality shows might not wish to indulge in fictionalized exploits. The September Issue had shown, too, that in the world of fashion, reality is far more interesting.
   The CW has announced that Melrose Place re-runs will take the place of The Beautiful Life. Six episodes were filmed, but there is no announcement on when the remaining four would air. Viewer numbers had dropped from 1·4 million to 1 million for the second episode, according to ratings.


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