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A “Fashion” Disaster and a “Desperate” Trial


PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 10:  Actors James Dento...

James Denton with Teri Hatcher

No one has ever accused me of being a Fashion Star. But there was that one moment in my Buffalo News career when a fashion makeover was attempted in a story related to the success of the old cable series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

The prediction in that story of my friend Gene Warner that it wouldn’t take long for the old fashion-less Pergy to reemerge quickly came true.

I am a fashion disaster.

Still, I thought it was a good idea to take a peek at the much-publicized new NBC reality series “Fashion Star,” which has a 90-minute premiere at 9:30 tonight on Channel 2. I plopped in the DVD and lasted about as long as my makeover – 20 minutes.

This isn’t as much a show as it appears to be a paid advertisement for Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and H&M and the declining careers of Jessica Simpson and Nicole Richie.

Supermodel Elle Macpherson is the host and Simpson, Richie and John Varvatos are the mentors of bartenders, hair stylists and other ordinary people whose creations are put in front of buyers for the three retailers who decide whether to bid on them to put them in their stores and online for purchase the next day. The creators really don’t compete initially, since each is allowed to win bids.

Admittedly, I’m not in the target demographic for this show. The target is women who like “Project Runway,” fashion shows and contemporary music, and enjoy going through women’s magazines that are loaded with beautiful full page ads and a few stories that supposedly legitimize them.

I’m a little surprised that NBC didn’t premiere the show on Thursday when March Madness begins on CBS so it would provide an alternative to hoops fans.

It is fashionable these days to pick on NBC, which can’t seem to do much of anything right. “Fashion Star” might be a new low. It probably has as much chance of winning a significant audience as UNC-Asheville has of becoming the NCAA tournament champions. My advice: Arrive fashionably late for the premiere and consider skipping the entire thing.

Rating: 1 star out of 4

Showtime, which is a very fashionable pay-TV channel these days, has announced that “Homeland” and “Dexter” will return Sept. 30.

I’ll give some credit to most members of my critical fraternity who didn’t reveal that James Denton’s character Mike Delfino was going to get killed in last Sunday’s episode of “Desperate Housewives” even after it came out in court during Nicollette Sheridan’s trial seeking $6 million for being dropped from the cast years ago when her character was killed off. The trial  is giving the show more than $6 million in free publicity. If I didn’t know better, I might think that it was a network plot to send off the show in grand style as the final episodes near.

Chad Michael Murray of Clarence has his next TV role lined up after “One Tree Hill.” He has been cast as the male lead – a photographer – in an ABC pilot, “Scruples,” based on a Judith Krantz novel and miniseries. Of course, only a small fraction of pilots make it to series. ABC’s success with “Revenge” this season may have helped “Scruples” get off the ground.


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