Here’s a few items of note in the television world to end your day on: Lisa Kudrow, the only “Friend” who hasn’t been in the trades the last couple of months, is now developing a Showtime comedy based on Craig Chester’s memoir, Why the Long Face? The book “is the story of his childhood as the gay son in a family of born-again Christian parents and his experiences as a thesp in the indie film world.” The show, however, will be from the perspective of a nine-year-old Chester, who’s coming to terms with his sexual orientation while dealing with a devout mom who has visions of Christ and a rock ‘n’ roll guitar-player dad who fears that his wife is losing her mind.
There’s no word if Kudrow will actually star in it, though if she did, I suspect she’d be the Mom. Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex, Bounce) is on board to direct should Showtime pick up the show.
In other news, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz is leaving “Melrose Place” in January, while Heather Locklear’s episodes begin in November. Nobody fucking cares. Not even a little bit.
Elsewhere, Bravo has picked up a second cycle of “Top Chef Masters,” which pits famous chefs against each other, and that’s not nearly as good as “Top Chef,” but it’ll do in a pinch. The obnoxious set of judges — James Oseland, food critic Jay Rayner, restaurant critic Gael Greene, and Gail Simmons of Food & Wine magazine — will return as judges.
Meanwhile, ABC is hoping to cash in on the weird popularity of “The Biggest Loser,” which announced its own spin-off earlier this week. The network has teamed up with “The Biggest Loser’s” executive producer J.D. Roth to create a show tentatively titled “Obese,” which will follow a year in the lives of morbidly obese people who attempt to shed, literally, hundreds of pounds. Yes: ABC is now treading on TLC’s territory. There will be six stand-alone documentary-style episodes, each of which will focus on one person’s 365-day journey toward 40 pounds of loose skin.
You think it’s a coincidence that a weight-loss show was announced on the same day as another cooking show? Hours and hours of entertainment watching people putting the pounds on, and then taking them off! That reminds me, actually: The NY Times ran an article a month or so ago about Padma Lakshmi and other cooking show judges and food critics and their problems with keeping the weight off. I believe that Padma admitted that she gained around 30 pounds during each cycle of the show. And yes: Who could tell?