Valerie Bertinelli’s New NBC Pilot With Demi Lovato Has Got Her ‘So Freaking Excited’

Valerie Bertinelli is returning to the situation comedy universe. It’s official that the Food Network host will be starring opposite singer and actor Demi Lovato for Hungry, an NBC comedy pilot.

The former One Day at at Time and Hot in Cleveland actor took to social media this week to express her absolute delight to be going back to scripted television once again.

Actor Valerie Bertinelli smiles for the camera
Actor Valerie Bertinelli | Joey Foley/WireImage

Bertinelli and Lovato will star in ‘Hungry’

Bertinelli will appear with Lovato on Hungry, a new comedy pilot on NBC. Her role has been announced as mother Lisa to Lovato’s character named Teddy. The premise of the comedy centers on a food dependence support group. The comedy will be written and executive produced by Suzanne Martin, the creator of Bertinelli’s last television comedy, Hot in Cleveland. Lovato is also an executive producer on the comedy.

According to a description of Bertinelli’s role provided by The Hollywood Reporter, Lisa is “a self-critical and emotional mess who has lost and gained the same 30 pounds for 30 years.” The character of Lisa, in fact, runs a restaurant and food is on her mind at all times.

As for Lovato, although she’s primarily thrown her energy into her singing career of late, she guest starred on Will & Grace‘s final season and in season 5 of Glee. The former child actor got her start on the children’s series Barney & Friends, and then moved on to Disney Channel’s Sonny with a Chance and the Camp Rock television movie series on the same network. Most recently, the singer announced a new YouTube Originals series called Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, a documentary-style four-parter showcasing “the singer’s personal and professional journey over the last three years.”

Art imitating life for Bertinelli?

Bertinelli’s described role in the upcoming Hungry seems to almost mirror her actual life. Almost.

While the actor is mom to a son, musician Wolfgang Van Halen (and not to a daughter as in her upcoming sitcom), her role on Hungry as someone in the food industry seems to run parallel to Bertinelli’s current Food Network responsibilities as a television personality and cooking instructor. In other words, food is as central right now to Bertinelli’s career as it is to her character Lisa on Hungry.

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The actor in recent years has even won two Emmy Awards for her work on the foodie channel.

And Bertinelli has shared the struggles she has experienced over the years with her weight, a transparency that many of her fans both related to and appreciated. She opened up quite a few times in fact to Today, telling Hoda Kotb in 2020, “I’ve been working so hard for so long…I just want to know what true joy feels like. When I first started this, I thought ‘For 2020, I want to lose ten pounds!’ and then I started to think about it, ‘I’ve been losing the same ten pounds for the past fifty years.’ It just can’t be about the ten pounds anymore. It just can’t.”

Her gleeful Instagram post

The actor took to Instagram this week to share her excitement at returning to her roots.

“You guys, you guys, I’m so excited,” she said. “I have to calm down because I’m so crazy excited. I haven’t acted, well, since Hot in Cleveland went off the air in 2015.”

Wearing glasses and with the camera close-up to her face, Bertinelli’s absolute joy could not be contained. However, she may not have yet been able to go into details about her new show as she said, “That’s a hint. I’m so freaking excited.”

Among her friends congratulating her on the up-to-that-point unknown source for her happiness were her former One Day at a Time co-star Mackenzie Phillips, her Food Network colleague Giada De Laurentiis, and Lovato herself, who replied to Bertinelli’s post: “YOU’RE SO CUTE I CAN’T WAIT TO MEET YOU.” Bertinelli’s response?: “YOU are such a badass. I can not wait to play your mama.”