Targeting 18-to-49s, NBC Turns To Celebrated Octogenarian
NBC is looking to take advantage of the popularity of the 89-year-old named Entertainer of the Year by the AP last year. Betty White, who has helped make TV Land's "Hot in Cleveland" a comedy hit, will host a hidden-camera show on the network.
NBC has picked up 12 half-hour episodes of "Betty White's Off Their Rockers" (working title). White, a long-time star of "The Golden Girls" on NBC, is also an executive producer.
The show, with roots in Europe, has seven senior citizens playing pranks on younger people who are unaware that the cameras are watching. NBC gave no timetable on a release date.
"Betty White is a comedic genius who escalates hilarity in any situation," stated Paul Telegdy, who heads alternative programming at NBC.
White's award-winning 2010 began with a popular appearance in a Super Bowl Snickers commercial, which led to a hosting gig on "Saturday Night Live" and the "Hot in Cleveland" heat.
White has a book, "If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't)," coming out in May.
The NBC hidden-camera show has been a hit overseas, where it is known as "Benidorm Bastards."
Partly on the backs of "Hot in Cleveland," where a third season is coming, TV Land's ratings have been soaring. The series has been an impetus for the network to launch more original comedies.