BO DEREK JOINS CAST OF MyNetworkTV's "SECRET OBSESSIONS"
International Icon to Lead Ensemble Cast as Ruthless Fashion Mogul "Maria Zianni" in Drama Launching on New Network this Fall
LOS ANGELES, March 28, 2006 -- Iconic actress and internationally renowned sex symbol Bo Derek has joined the cast of "Secret Obsessions," the highly anticipated primetime drama set to launch September 5, 2006, at 9:00pm (Eastern/Pacific)/8:00pm (Central) on the new primetime television network MyNetworkTV.
"Secret Obsessions" (formerly entitled "Secrets") goes deep behind-the-scenes to focus on the glamorous, yet often brutally ruthless fashion industry, in which greed, lust and blind ambition surround a violent corporate takeover of Zianni, Inc., the business' hottest company run by Derek's character Maria Zianni. A cutthroat fashion mogul who rules the fashion world and runs her company with an iron fist, Maria spares no one, including her family, of her rage. Never one to take "no" for an answer, Maria's accustomed to receiving whatever she pleases but is suddenly whirled into a life of uncertainty, blackmail and despair at the hands of a tangled love triangle that puts her life's work in jeopardy.
"In casting this key character, we wanted an actress who exudes sophistication, sensuality, mass appeal and intensity, and Bo Derek is a perfect fit for Maria Zianni," comments Paul Buccieri, president of programming of Twentieth Television. "An American icon, Bo's rich talent, timeless beauty and experience add a whole new dimension to 'Secret Obsessions'' already amazing cast."
Derek said, "I couldn't be happier to join such an amazing ensemble cast and groundbreaking new television series. I can't wait to play Maria Zianni, such a compellingly ambitious and treacherous woman."
A native of Long Beach, California, Derek began modeling at the young age of 15 in an effort to support her love of sports. Following an accidental meeting with an agent backstage at a Las Vegas show, she was signed on the spot, launching her acting debut as Annie, the unfortunate victim of a brutal whale attack in the terrorizing 1977 feature thriller "Orca." The dazzling beauty then leapt to stardom (and into American pop culture) in Blake Edwards' wildly popular and Oscar-nominated film "10," in which she starred opposite Julie Andrews as the focus of Dudley Moore's comic obsession. Derek further solidified her status as a silver screen sex symbol with roles in 1981's "Tarzan, the Ape Man" and the provocative 1984 feature "Bolero," both of which she produced alongside her late husband and director John Derek. Since then, she has appeared in a flurry of features, including "A Change in Seasons," starring Shirley MacLaine and Anthony Hopkins; "Hot Chocolate"; and the renowned hilarity "Tommy Boy," where she portrayed Chris Farley's evil and conniving step mother. Her television credits include recurring roles on "Two Guys and a Girl," "Still Standing" and the critically acclaimed "7th Heaven." She additionally hosted American Movie Classics' original series "The Hollywood Fashion Machine." In 2002, Derek released her much-anticipated memoir, entitled Riding Lessons: Everything that Matters in Life I Learned from Horses, which chronicles the life of a California beach girl, who at a young age was thrown into fame by becoming the epitome of the "Perfect 10" beauty. Derek additionally serves as a proud member of the Board of Trustees of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
"Secret Obsessions" also stars Natalie Martinez as Michelle Miller, an unfulfilled wife who forgoes her dream of becoming a fashion designer but puts herself first when she discovers that her husband Lance, played by Mike Begovich, has been cheating on her. Taylor Kinney plays Maria's son Paul Zianni, a talented aspiring artist who's lived in the shadow of his mother's power but develops a new sense of purpose for his art after meeting Michelle. Donna Feldman plays Gloria, a sexy gold digger who gets what she wants and is having an affair with Lance. Nicole Pulliam is Nikki Clark, a high-power Zianni, Inc. supermodel afraid of losing her appeal who keeps a close eye on any up-and-coming models. Others starring in "Secret Obsessions" include Joel Berti as William, a well educated, yet vindictive man that built his empire from scratch and uses his malevolence against Maria; and Garrett Swan as Harold and Tony Tripoli as Hans, Zianni Inc. designers who have had their share of success, but that luck is quickly fading.
Targeted to Adults 18-49, MyNetworkTV will launch on Tuesday, September 5th, with Twentieth Television's new scripted primetime dramas "Secret Obsessions " and "Desire." "Desire" chronicles the tragic destruction of a family and the bonds of brotherhood take center stage when two brothers on the run from the mafia find themselves in a heated battle of passion, betrayal, deceit and murder over the woman they both love.
"Secret Obsessions" and "Desire" will each feature a 65-episode story arc of hour-long episodes stripped Monday through Friday over the span of 13 weeks. Every Saturday, a re-cap episode highlighting the two programs' previous week's storylines will air. "Desire" will air at 8:00pm (Eastern/Pacific)/7:00pm (Central), followed by "Secret Obsessions" at 9:00pm (Eastern/Pacific)/8:00pm (Central).
A leader in the U.S. program production and distribution arena, Twentieth Television is a unit of Fox Television and headed by Fox Television Stations' chairman Roger Ailes while CEO Jack Abernethy oversees day-to-day operations. Twentieth Television provides a wide array of first-run and off-network programming, as well as feature film packages, to the syndication and cable marketplaces. First-run programs distributed by Twentieth Television include "Geraldo at Large," the news strip hosted by Geraldo Rivera, and the popular court shows "Divorce Court" and "Judge Alex," the number one new first-run program of the 2005-06 season. In addition to "Desire" and "Secret Obsessions," the company is set to launch the new court show "Cristina's Court," hosted by Cristina Perez, in Fall 2006. Twentieth Television also oversees the domestic sales of one of the most extensive libraries of off-net programming in the entertainment industry. Last fall, the company launched the groundbreaking drama "24," starring Kiefer Sutherland, and The Peabody Award-winning sitcom "The Bernie Mac Show" in off-net syndication.