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The Beautiful Life: TBL
Format Drama
Created by Adam Giaudrone
Starring Sara Paxton
Ben Hollingsworth
Mischa Barton
Corbin Bleu
Nico Tortorella
Ashley Madekwe
Elle Macpherson
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 5 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Ashton Kutcher
Jason Goldberg
Karey Burke
Mike Kelley
Location(s) New York City, New York
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) CBS Television Studios
Katalyst Films
Warner Bros. Television
Original channel The CW (television)
YouTube (online)
Original run September 16, 2009 (2009-09-16) – September 23, 2009 (2009-09-23)
Status Cancelled

The Beautiful Life: TBL (also known as The Beautiful Life) is an American television drama series, which ran on The CW from September 16, 2009 to September 23, 2009. The series starred Mischa Barton, Elle Macpherson, Sara Paxton and Corbin Bleu. It revolved around a group of male and female models sharing a residence in New York City.[1] Mike Kelley (Swingtown) served as the showrunner for the series, based on the script by former model-turned-writer Adam Giaudrone, and Ashton Kutcher was the executive producer.[2] The CW ordered 13 episodes for the first season.

On September 25, 2009, The Beautiful Life: TBL was canceled after two episodes due to low ratings.[3] Six full episodes were produced, while the cancellation came during the filming of the seventh episode.[4] On November 17, 2009, The New York Daily News reported that the CW planned to air the remaining episodes during the summer months. However, a CW spokesperson stated that "the status of unaired episodes has yet to be determined, and as of now, the remaining episodes are still yet to air.[5]

However, all episodes are now airing on YouTube, Kutcher spoke on the development "What we feel like we're doing is creating, in some ways, an industry first.... A show that couldn't find its legs on television, we believe can find its legs on the Web."[6] The five episodes being aired online are sponsored by HP.[7]


Cast and characters



  • Sara Paxton as Raina Marinelli - An aspiring model, who instantly rises to fame
  • Ben Hollingsworth as Chris Andrews - A newly appointed model, who is new to the fashion world.
  • Mischa Barton as Sonja Stone - A supermodel, who has returned to the fashion scene after a mysterious disappearance
  • Corbin Bleu as Isaac Taylor - A once child model
  • Nico Tortorella as Cole Shepherd - A rising underwear model
  • Ashley Madekwe as Marissa Delfina - A socialite and gossiping model
  • Elle Macpherson as Claudia Foster - The owner of the Fashion Agency and a mother figure to the models


Jaime Murray was cast to play powerful wardrobe stylist and resident cougar who has her eyes on Isaac (Corbin Bleu).[8] Ed Quinn signed on to play the husband of Claudia Foster (Elle Macpherson).[9] Former Miss Israel Gal Gadot was cast to play Olivia, a Gisele Bündchen type supermodel at the top of her game.[10] Billy Magnussen was to have had a multiple episode arc as Alex who is Raina's brother which will offer clues on Raina's past.[11]

Guest stars

Marie Claire fashion director and Project Runway judge Nina Garcia had a small cameo in the second episode. Designers Matthew Williamson and Erin Fetherston were also set guest star along side model Jessica Stam.[12] Model Irina Lazareanu made an appearance in the pilot as did So You Think You Can Dance Canada season 1 winner, Nico Archambault and model Boyd Holbrook. Claire Unabia and Mila Bouzinova from Cycle 10 and Cycle 9 respectively made a special appearance at the Nina Garcia's party in episode 2.

Production notes

The show was largely filmed on location in New York City. Studio interiors were filmed at Kaufman Astoria Studios, Queens, New York.

Prior to the start of production, Mischa Barton agreed to have her ears pierced especially for the role of Sonja Stone so that, when required, she could wear the same style of pierced earrings as the other female cast members also playing models.[13]


The Beautiful Life was heavily promoted through the cast's and producer's Twitter with promotional photos of Sara Paxton, Corbin Bleu, and Ashley Madekwe appearing semi naked with the tag line "What are you looking at?".[14] The Beautiful Life was heavily promoted during New York Fashion Week and through New York magazine. In a very targeted mailing, 4,000 high profile contacts in the fashion and media worlds got a polybagged edition of New York magazine featuring those semi naked shots of the cast and then, during Fashion Week, copies of New York featuring an ad spread and the naughty nudes were handed out in the show tents. The show also received some unplanned publicity due to Mischa Barton's medical issues in the weeks leading up to the start of production.[15]

Reception and cancellation

The series premiere did poorly with 1.38 million viewers, and a 0.6/2 in Adults 18-49, 0.8/2 in Adults 18-34, and 1.1/3 in Women 18-34. The second episode also drew in low numbers, with a 0.6/2 rating with adults 18-49, with only 1.1 million viewers.[16] The show was officially cancelled on September 25, 2009 due to the poor reception.[17]

International airings

The show was originally announced as being part of the Autumn schedule of Ireland's TV3, but the show was later moved to TV3's second station 3e. Since the cancellation of the show in the US, TV3 dropped the show from its lineup. It is unknown if any episodes will now air in Ireland.

After the cancellation, Channel 10 in Australia announced it would not air the show at all.

Prior to the show's cancellation, it was announced that it would be shown in the UK by Channel 4. Following the show's cancellation, it is unknown if any of the completed episodes will be shown in the UK.


# Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers*
1 "Pilot" Christian DuguayAdam GiaudroneSeptember 16, 2009 (2009-09-16)
Released online - December 15, 2009 (2009-12-15)
Views online: 730,695
Raina Marinelli is a stunning beauty with a secret past. She makes an unforgettable impression while strutting down the runway in a Zac Posen gown during New York Fashion Week, and effectively steals the spotlight away from fellow model Sonja Stone. Sonja has been out of the country for mysterious reasons. She is now desperate to convince her agent, Claudia Foster, that she can reclaim her status as the reigning supermodel. Deemed the new "it" girl, Raina soon meets Chris Andrews, a strikingly handsome Iowa farm boy just entering the modeling world. Raina takes him to the "models' residence" where she lives along with other young hopefuls, including Marissa Delfina, Isaac Taylor and the current alpha-male model known as Cole Shepherd. 
2 "The Beautiful Aftermath" Michael LehmannAnna Fricke
Mike Kelley
September 23, 2009 (2009-09-23)
Released online - December 15, 2009 (2009-12-15)
Views online: 461,650
Chris believes his chances at a modeling career are over and prepares to leave New York City until he receives a surprise phone call from Claudia. Claudia informs Raina that she needs to focus more on her career and less on her new relationship with Chris. Isaac confronts Vivienne about her behavior towards him at a go-see, and the two end up working out an arrangement that serves both their needs. Marissa accuses Sonja of stealing the Versace campaign from her and decides to seek revenge in a very public way, which leads Sonja to Cole for assistance. Marissa invites Raina's brother, Alex to a party hosted by Nina Garcia, where more secrets about Raina's past are revealed. 
3 "The Beautiful Lie" Sanford BookstaverDailyn RodriguezReleased online - December 16, 2009 (2009-12-16)Views online: 591,016
Raina has an unpleasant meeting with her brutal ex-con father whom she finally gets the nerve to stand up to. Meanwhile, Sonja must face the consequences when a revealing photo of her goes public, while she continues to ask Isaac to keep the existence of her newborn baby daughter a secret from the public. Also, Chris tries to help Raina and her brother Alex when Russian mobsters give a lot of trouble for Alex over his past business. 
4 "The Beautiful Triangle" Michael FieldsLisa Henthorn
Jonathon Roessler
Released online - December 18, 2009 (2009-12-18)Views online: 500,826
Raina and Cole's stars begin to skyrocket as they begin work on the Calvin Klein ad. Chris, on the other hand will find his initial success at the Details shoot fade, as he explores the less glamorous side of the industry from the outside looking in. Sonja books a major campaign that comes with strings attached. Marissa embarks on a business relationship with Alex while Isaac realizes his relationship with Vivienne is more complicated than he imagined when he meets an aspiring young model. 
5 "The Beautiful Campaign" Norman BuckleyAdam GiaudroneReleased online - December 18, 2009 (2009-12-18)Views online: 578,895
The unveiling of the Calvin Klein billboard in Times Square and the interest from W Magazine starts to take a toll on Raina as she continues to struggle with her feelings for Cole. Problems arise in Claudia's marriage with Richard while Sonja's working on the campaign. Marissa steals a one of a kind pair of shoes from Max Azaria when she doesnt get booked for the Herve Leger show. 
  • *American viewers are listed in millions.

Episodes online

Youtube's logo for the series

On December 17, 2009, executive producer Ashton Kutcher reported on The Beautiful Life's official Youtube channel that because of the cancellation, the remaining episodes will be released online. If the episodes gain more hits online, more new episodes may be produced exclusively for the Web. The first three episodes were released online, with the last two premiering Monday, December 21, 2009.[18] Thanks to a sponsorship deal with Hewlett Packard, the five first episodes are available. Kutcher is hoping that the high production quality of the show will increase its audience size on YouTube, which will in turn lure sponsors to finance more episodes.[19] The official YouTube channel also includes a number of short videos featuring the main cast members talking about the "beautiful changes" they have planned for 2010, plus a number of other videos connected with the show.


  1. ^ "Mischa Barton Opts for 'A Beautiful Life'". Reuters (from The Hollywood Reporter). March 13, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2009. 
  2. ^ Rao, Priya (2009-07-28). "Material Girls: The Stars of 'The Beautiful Life'". Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Rice, Lynette (2009-09-25). "CW cancels Mischa Barton starrer 'The Beautiful Life'". Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  4. ^ CW Cancels "The Beautiful Life", Hollywood Reporter, September 25, 2009
  5. ^ Sidman, Amanda (2009-11-17). "CW mulls resurrecting Mischa Barton's 'The Beautiful Life;' unaired episodes to run this summer". New York: Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  6. ^ Mischa Returns to the (Very) Small Screen New York Observer. 17 December 2009
  7. ^ HP To Sponsor 'Beautiful Life' On YouTube Media Post. 19 December 2009
  8. ^ Godwin, Jennifer (2009-08-17). "Dexter Diva Joins The Beautiful Life". 
  9. ^ Godwin, Jennifer (2009-08-25). "True Blood Star Joins CW's The Beautiful Life". 
  10. ^ "ABC, CW freshmen add cast". 
  11. ^ O'Connor, Mickey; Bryant, Adam (2009-08-25). "Mega Buzz: Scoop on House, Numbers, 24, and More!". 
  12. ^ Abrams, Natalie (2009-08-19). "Mischa Barton Dabbles With Drugs in The Beautiful Life". 
  13. ^ Mischa's Looking Forward to a Beautiful Life, Fabulous magazine. 6 September 2009.
  14. ^ Daniels, Karu F. (2009-09-28). "The CW: Canceling 'The Beautiful Life' After Only Two Weeks". Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  15. ^ Mischa Barton released from hospital, Daily Telegraph, 28 July 2009.
  16. ^ "Two and out For The CW's Beautiful Life". 2009-09-25. 
  17. ^ "The CW Cancels Mischa Barton's 'Beautiful Life' After TWO Episodes". 2009-09-25. Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Osterhout, Jacob E. (2009-12-17). "'The Beautiful Life' will get second life online; ill-fated CW show headed for the Web". Daily News (New York). 

External links


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