Bethenny Frankel Admits She Was ‘Sort of Annoyed’ When ‘The Big Shot with Bethenny’ Was Compared to This Reality Show

Bethenny Frankel is back on reality TV with her new HBO Max series, The Big Shot with Bethenny. The former Real Housewives of New York star is on the hunt for a new VP of Operations for her Skinnygirl brand, and plans to recruit a hopeful contestant from the show. While many have compared her new series with NBC’s previous hit, The Apprentice, Frankel finds her show’s format to be completely different.

Bethenny Frankel of 'The Big Shot with Bethenny' smiles for an interview
Bethenny Frankel of ‘The Big Shot with Bethenny’ | Bravo

Bethenny Frankel got ‘caught up in the ego’ of comparisons

Frankel teamed up with Survivor and Shark Tank creator Mark Burnett for The Big Shot with Bethenny. With the premise of vying for a job as the foundation for the show, comparisons were immediately made with The Apprentice, which was a ratings boon for NBC after its launch in 2004. At first, the RHONY alum was put off by the analysis.

“The funniest thing is that when the show was first announced and everybody was comparing it to The Apprentice, I was sort of annoyed because it’s so different,” Frankel told Interview Magazine. “But I ended up coming around to say, ‘Okay, the worst thing that could happen is that we have the success of The Apprentice?’ I mean, okay.”

The Skinnygirl founder put herself in check, noting that the comparison wasn’t a knock on her series.

“The show was successful,” Frankel said of The Apprentice. “I was stupid to get caught up in the ego of that and not want to be compared to anything else.”

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‘RHONY’ alum points out differences with ‘The Big Shot with Bethenny’

Frankel provided some context on how The Big Shot with Bethenny had sharp distinctions from the former NBC series.

“The show is very different because these are real products and my real business and my real brands,” she explained. “The Apprentice was integrations with Marquis Jets and Delta Airlines and publishing houses. This is completely original.”

The former Bravo TV star expressed her confidence in her new venture, convinced that The Big Shot with Bethenny can rise to the top.

“Out of around 15 business-competition shows that were ever launched, apparently The Apprentice was the only one that was ever successful,” Frankel remarked. “I believe this is the second one.”

Bethenny Frankel went for ‘intensity’ with her HBO Max show

Frankel got to see Burnett in action when she was a contestant on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart spinoff in 2005. She aimed to capture the same type of energy on her HBO Max series.

“Working with Mark Burnett on The Apprentice, I realized that there’s a military-like way that he produces his shows,” she recalled. “The producers didn’t really talk to the applicants. I remember thinking how intense it was. I wanted to recreate that intensity.”

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Pressure was doubled due to filming during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, where restrictions needed to remain in place.

“It was more challenging because we couldn’t have them live together due to COVID,” Frankel said. “Just the nature of them being away from their families created an intensity during the pandemic. My biggest concern was making it as intense and stressful for them as it was for me.”

The Big Shot with Bethenny is currently streaming on HBO Max.