With everything else going wrong in Bethenny Frankel's life, the skinnygirl can add floundering talk show to her list of woes.
Bethenny believed the show would catapult her out of the reality television genre and give her the opportunity to connect one-on-one with her fans. Unfortunately "fans" aren't tuning in. And she's being slaughtered in the ratings by Queen Latifah, who surprisingly turned out to be her biggest talk show rival.
"Bethenny is livid about Queen Latifah beating her – she can't believe this is happening," a source told Star Magazine (print edition). Indeed Bethenny's ratings have been slipping. Bethenny's show is averaging a .9 Nielsen rating while Queen Latifah is nabbing a healthy 1.4.
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The former reality star mistakenly assumed she would be a shoo-in success. "Bethenny was overjoyed when Kris Jenner's show got canned, because she figured Kris was her biggest competition," the source explains. "She had no idea that Queen Latifah would be the one to crush."
Among Bethenny's issues is that she's been "buying her own hype" in believing she's a bigger celebrity and more popular than she is. "Unfortunately she's still seen as a Real Housewife," the source says. "This is a huge embarrassment."
"She's holding crisis talks in order to figure out what Latifah has that she doesn't," the source adds. And the list is long. "People just like Latifah better," says an insider. Additionally Bethenny is in a demographics lurch and is unable to find a solid fanbase. "She's too raunchy for suburban moms but too old for Millenials." Which doesn't bode well for Bethenny, who prides herself on being no holds barred and cutting edge. But for the younger set, she's just not. "Bethenny is caught between demographics."
Bethenny's guests are also proving to be a problem. When she was doing a test run for her show last summer she was grabbing A-list guests like Justin Bieber, but after her brutal divorce started decimating her reputation, Bethenny isn't able to consistently attract the same level of celebrity and has been relying on Real Housewives and reality stars to occupy her stage. And sometimes even fired Real Housewives turn her down!
Meanwhile Latifah is boasting Jamie Foxx and other mega celebrities of her own status. "Bethenny has been stuck with D-list reality stars like Coco Austin and Snooki." Ouch.
Another issue is Bethenny's production team. She's been labeled as a boss from hell who can't keep a tight-knit team, but Latifah's show is being produced in part by Jada Pinkett Smith with a set designed by Lenny Kravitz! Despite Ellen DeGeneres championing Bethenny's show, it doesn't seem to be motivating viewers to tune in.
Personally I've seen Bethenny's show and it's true she's trying too hard to be edgy, ballsy and cutting edge. It comes across as frantic and desperate. I guess it's do or die time for her – she either has to find her groove or accept the show is going to bomb.
TELL US – ARE YOU SURPRISED BETHENNY'S SHOW IS EXPERIENCING SO MANY ISSUES? DO YOU PREFER LATIFAH OVER BETHENNY?