‘Movie Night with Karlie Kloss’ follows the winning business model of showing stars like Jerry Seinfeld and James Corden doing normal things.
The only thing more fun than watching movies starring famous people might be watching famous people watch movies, themselves.
That’s the meta selling point behind Karlie Kloss’s upcoming TV show, “Movie Night with Karlie Kloss.” The six-part series debuting Dec. 28 on Freeform (formerly ABC Family) will feature the former Victoria’s Secret Angel playing games and watching flicks with her famous friends, including fellow supermodels Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn and Martha Hunt, and tennis star Serena Williams.
“Aww looks like such a fun night, wish I could come,” one fan sighed under Kloss’s Instagram announcement – which is exactly the point. Audiences love watching celebrities act “just like us,” whether that’s the Obamas having a date night, Kate Middleton walking Prince George to preschool – or a fashion icon having a movie night at home with her girls.
“People like seeing stars in less scripted situations, which is why they follow them on Facebook and Twitter and all the rest of social media,” Robert Thompson, Syracuse University professor and pop cultural historian, told Moneyish. “And Karlie Kloss’s show is a new version of ‘the talk show,’ where the appeal is that stars come out and have conversations like regular people.”
And as we’ve grown used to actors and musicians parking themselves on talk show couches – or sharing so much of their lives on social media that we know “everything” about them already – producers are playing with formats to make series seem even more intimate. Some great ones include:
— Lewis Black (@TheLewisBlack) January 26, 2017
“Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”
Jerry Seinfeld’s web series (season 10 will soon stream on Netflix) simply involves the comic picking up funny people (including his “Seinfeld” costars, comedians like Aziz Ansari, Jim Carey and Louis C.K., and even former President Barack Obama) in a classic car, and driving someplace for coffee talk; a.k.a., a nice little Saturday for the rest of us. It’s been nominated for three Emmys and has drawn more than 100,000 million views, and his new contract with Netflix is worth a reported $100 million. “That format could go on for 100 years because it’s so simple, it’s so natural,” said Thompson. “You get Jerry Seinfeld, who’s a great conversationalist, with other comedians who have great things to say – that can’t fail.”
— James Corden (@JKCorden) October 11, 2017
James Corden’s “The Late Late Show” bit taps a guilty pleasure – singing along to your favorite songs in the car – by inviting famous musicians like Adele, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Lin Manuel Miranda and Ed Sheeran to belt along with their own hits playing on the car stereo as he drives them around. A 2016 primetime special won an Emmy for “Outstanding Variety Special,” and this year’s special drew 4.23 million overall viewers. The segment has been spun off into an Apple Music TV series starring Neil Patrick Harris that dropped in August.
“Dinner for Five”
“Iron Man” director Jon Favreau’s IFC series presented actors and directors as normal people sitting in real restaurants and swapping stories from the sets of their film projects. Each dinner featured Favreau and four guests – including “Swingers” costar Vince Vaughn, director Martin Scorsese, Ben Affleck, Peter Dinklage and many more – and there were no cue cards or questions hashed out beforehand, so conversations were entirely ad-libbed. It ran for four seasons and 50 episodes.
“Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party”
Audiences have also been eating up these weekly dinner parties hosted by hilarious odd couple Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg on VH1, where they invite friends like Seth Rogen, Ashley Graham, Patti LaBelle and Wiz Khalifa over for cooking, cocktails and hijinx (like Stewart wearing bling shaped like a cheese grater around her neck). It debuted to 3 million viewers last year, and its second season premiered last Monday.
— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) October 17, 2017
“Pantomime Quiz Time”
This golden oldie that ran from 1947 to 1959 (and was revived as “Stump the Stars” in 1962) featured celebrities like Jerry Lewis, Elaine Stritch and Mary Tyler Moore playing charades. “People really liked that because you saw stars – that you normally only saw reading scripted words in movies and television shows – suddenly at this party playing charades like the parties you have next door,” said Thompson. It was so popular that it aired on all four U.S. TV networks during the Golden Age of Television, and won an Emmy for “Most Popular Television Program” at the very first Emmy Awards.
Being this natural is a lot harder to pull off than it looks, however. And it doesn’t always work. “Kocktails with Khloe” – where the Kardashian sister did drinks with Kim and Kanye, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen – only lasted three months and 12 episodes last year.
“It’s one thing to say, we’re getting a bunch of celebrities together to play games and watch movies, and it’s another thing to have that be interesting,” warned Thompson.
Turns out, celebrities can be boring – just like us!
Marc Berman, editor in chief of Programming Insider, also noted audiences may have been suffering Kardashian fatigue. “The problem with ‘Kocktails with Khloe’ too is that the Kardashians are so overexposed that it gets to a point where you don’t want to see Khloe having cocktails with Joe Schmo when you’re seeing her constantly on social media or on E!,” he told Moneyish.
“It all comes back to, you have to have a certain personality where people feel like they relate to you, they want to watch you, they want to spend time with you, and it has to feel comfortable,” he added. “Karlie Kloss has got millions of followers, she’s got that vibe, and Freeform is the perfect platform for her because young females watch Freeform, and young females know who she is. Plus, Millennials are into movies, so this kind of angle could work.”
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