On the day TLC had planned to premiere “Kate Plus Eight,” the network will broadcast “Kate: Her Story,” a one-hour special where NBC’s Natalie Morales sits down with Gosselin for what TLC is calling “her most intimate interview to date.”
A more accurate billing for the Nov. 2 special might be “her most important interview yet.” If the mom of eight is going to have a future as a television personality, she needs to recalibrate her image with this interview, and move away from the persona that’s intertwined with soon-to-be ex husband Jon’s.
Luckily, Jon has opened the door for Kate to do just that, since he has not done a single likeable thing in the press. He came close to doing something right when he said he didn’t want his kids to be filmed anymore, and banned cameras from his home. But then, court papers revealed that Jon’s announcement was a negotiation tactic — simply put, he said if TLC didn’t let him out of his contract, he would ban filming of his kids.
Need more examples? Jon, who recently claimed he is half Jewish, appeared at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue for a panel discussion on “Values in America” and reportedly opened his question for panelist Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, by saying, “As you probably know, I’m going through a divorce.”
“It was insulting that this guy would be so glib and arrogant with Elie Wiesel," said a source who was there. “As if surviving the Holocaust and being on a reality show put you on the same plane. It didn’t seem like Mr. Wiesel knew he was, but that didn’t seem to faze Jon. He posed for pictures afterwards.”
And then there’s Jon’s new spiritual advisor, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who once advised Michael Jackson. Jon is teaming up with Rabbi Boteach for regular study sessions and counseling, but a source who has worked with both Jon and Kate said it’s a move to make it seem like Jon is more focused on family.
“Kate has always been focused on the family, with or without the show,” the source said. “She has no need to do a regret tour with Rabbi Shmuley.”
What won’t work in Kate’s favor are recent reports of high-maintenance behavior from producers who recently worked with her, who report Kate’s sudden mid-shoot demands of chocolate chip Clif bars, and sushi. The more Kate lets fame affect her, the greater her chances of become infamous.
What can work in her favor is if her interview is an honest one that illustrates real concern for her eight kids. There exists a scenario where Kate can navigate fame in a way that allows her the chance to support her family, both financially and meaningfully.
Kate didn’t get where she is by being perfect, she got where she is by being someone real moms could identify with. She needs to remind people that she’s not a true Hollywood story, she’s a mom who cares about providing for her kids.
‘This Is It’ doesn’t surprise at box office
“This Is It” was the only wide release at the box office this weekend, therefore coming in No. 1 isn’t a surprise. Going in, the only mystery was going to be how much money the film made.
Domestically, the Jackson tribute film was something of a mild disappointment, grossing only $32.9 million. The big money was earned overseas, where “It” made $68.5 million.
Although that sounds good, the grand total of $101 million is actually on the low end of the estimates — some experts projected a $200 million five-day opening. Although the bottom line is ultimately what the film will be judged upon, it would be interesting to see just how many bodies were in seats, as some theaters quietly upped the ticket prices.
And if you can’t make it to theaters before the end of the two-week run, don’t worry, that wasn’t it. Sony made the unsurprising move of keeping “This Is It” in theaters a little longer, through Thanksgiving.
But wouldn’t sticking to the limited two-week run have been a more fiscally advantageous move? A short run would have created greater demand for the DVD sales, and there’s greater profit to be made there since the studio wouldn’t have to split the cash with theaters.
Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc