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Hot In Cleveland moves past built-in audience

<em>Hot In Cleveland</em> star Wendie Malick had a feeling early on thatthe series would prove a hit. And it wasn’t just the presence ofoctogenarian It Girl, Betty White.

Hot In Cleveland star Wendie Malick had a feeling early on that the series would prove a hit. And it wasn’t just the presence of octogenarian It Girl, Betty White.


“We had an inkling early on because it had been so long since women who were pushing 50, 60, and even 90 had been portrayed with any depth,” says Malick, who was in Toronto last week to promote the series.


“We knew there was a woman audience out there who’d tune in. But what knocked us out was the number of men who watched the show.”


Not that success should be a complete surprise. Hot In Cleveland’s cast is a who’s who of successful sitcom women — featuring not only Malick (Dream On, Just Shoot Me) and White (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), but Valerie Bertinelli (One Day At a Time) and Jane Leeves (Frasier).


While Malick is best known now for her comedy, it wasn’t always that way. Starting out, the model-turned-actress was confined to dramatic roles.


“I was tall, dark and rather imposing. So I played a lot of judges, doctors, ex-wives and murderers. It wasn’t until (1990’s) Dream On that they finally put it together I could do comedy.”


For Hot In Cleveland’s second season premiere — airing tonight on CTV — Malick got the chance to learn at the feet of a true comedy master: Guest star Mary Tyler Moore.


“We were all in awe of this legend. And to see her with Betty again and to watch these two talented ladies work, it was something special.”


Hot In Cleveland airs Mondays on CTV.

 
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