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When it comes to primetime television, it sometimes begins to feel like our only options for entertainment are medical, legal, procedural, or sitcom. Cable network Showtime, however, is currently developing a project unlike any other on TV. 36-24-36 will be a half-hour show following the story of the first black TV model featured on a game show. Set in 1990 and also featuring other models with their own uphill battles in the biz, the series would tackle everything ranging from the glamorous life of a celebrity to the racism, sexual harassment, misogyny, and physical demands of a model’s lifestyle. Believe it or not, 36-24-36 will actually be a comedy.
36-24-36 will be executive produced by Delia Ephron and Debra Martin Chase. A writer, author, playwright, and producer, Ephron earned quite a name for herself for her involvement with big screen romantic comedy successes, with credits like Sleepless In Seattle and You’ve Got Mail to her name. Chase is a producer who has twice been nominated for an Emmy award, has credit for 2012 film Sparkle, and started her own company with Martin Chase productions. The two women share a credit on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Delia Ephron and Debra Martin Chase will be bringing more than their own writing and production experiences to 36-24-36. Deadline reports that Kathleen Bradley has been brought in to work as a consultant on the project. Bradley is ideally suited to give a unique perspective on the world of 36-24-36. She was the first full-time African American model to be featured on Bob Barker’s hit game show The Price Is Right. Her testimony in a lawsuit against the longtime host resulted in the loss of her job, but her tenure on the show spanned from 1990 until her termination as a model in 2000. Bradley’s inside knowledge of the game show biz in the '90s, as well as her own experiences as a groundbreaker, should make her input invaluable to 36-24-36.
Now, for anybody who has ever gotten the words to “Baby Got Back” stuck in your head, the meaning behind the title of the project is pretty clear. 36-24-36 refers to the “ideal” physical measurements for the female body. We can probably safely assume that most of the men of 36-24-36 will not be quite as open-minded as Sir Mix-a-Lot.
In fact, aside from the title, very little about what will hit the airwaves with 36-24-36 has been confirmed at this point. As the potential show is still in the development stages and has yet to be ordered to series, we’re probably still a ways off from any casting or scheduling news. Nevertheless, the premise of 36-24-36 promises a unique show in a niche all on its own as it presents the very serious difficulties of modeling in the '90s in a comedic setting. Delia Ephron, Debra Martin Chase, and Kathleen Bradley are already a formidable trifecta to get the project off of the ground, and Showtime may just have hit on a big success for the future of the network.