If John Goodman, Jason Alexander and James Gandolfini can have TV shows, why can't Kirstie Alley?
That's what Kirstie Alley (search) would like to know.
"John Goodman's got his own show and Jason Alexander looks like a freakin' bowling ball!" she screams at her agent. "And how about James Gandolfino [sic]? He's like the size of a whale! He's way, way, way fatter than I am!"
Well, that's a matter of opinion. Kirstie's pretty darned big in "Fat Actress" — which is the whole point of the show.
"Fat Actress" is the widely publicized series in which Alley, 53, courageously plays herself — an overweight TV star who cannot get a show because of the way she looks.
Alley, the former star of "Cheers" and "Veronica's Closet" on NBC, is 5'7" tall and, as of last week's cover story in People magazine, weighs 192 lbs.
Yesterday, in a screening room at Viacom headquarters at 1515 Broadway, Showtime gave a group of journalists their first look at her new show.
Billed as a reality show, "Fat Actress" bears more similarities to "Curb Your Enthusiasm" on HBO than "The Anna Nicole Show" on E!.
Like "Curb," "Fat Actress" is a comedy series constructed of scenes which seem to be based primarily on an outline rather than a script, and then largely improvised.
And also like "Curb," "Fat Actress" has some of the star's famous friends playing themselves and interacting with the fictional characters on the show.
In the premiere, these include John Travolta, Alley's co-star in three "Look Who's Talking" movies, and Jeff Zucker, president of NBC Universal Television.
Other faces viewers will recognize include Travolta's wife, Kelly Preston, as a nasty nutritionist; former "Mad TV" players Bryan Callen (as Alley's assistant) and Michael McDonald (as her agent); Rachael Harris, formerly of "The Daily Show," as Alley's stylist; Phil Morris of "Seinfeld" (he played Kramer's lawyer, Jackie Chiles) as a restaurant patron; and Mark Curry, the former star of "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper," as an NBC exec who thinks plump Alley is "bootylicious."
Seven half-hour episodes are planned for the first season of "Fat Actress" — about half of which are already finished.
Whether this series ever sees a second season would seem to depend on whether the fat actress remains fat.
And with Alley declaring on the cover of People that she's determined to go on a diet, the future of "Fat Actress" is anything but certain.