- The Washington Times - Friday, June 22, 2007

'Bridezillas' packs heat

Fuhgeddabout the end of “The Sopranos” and perish the thought of spending another Sunday evening with “Desperate Housewives” reruns.

If you’ve got a craving for family drama and catfights laced with an element of surprise, there’s no better place than “Bridezillas” (9 p.m. on We), which chronicles the overbearing and near-psychotic behavior of real-life brides-to-be in the weeks leading up to their special day.

Sunday’s episode continues the saga of Anita Maxwell, a first-time bride at age 46, and the despicable behavior of her adult daughter, Christina, who will do anything — and we do mean anything — to keep her mom from tying the knot with Dion, her 10-years-younger fiance.

The story picks up with a distraught Miss Maxwell in tears on her wedding day after an ongoing battle with the deranged Christina (who, at 24, still lives at home and proudly proclaims she has “no intention of ever paying rent”).

Things go from bad to worse as Christina, egged on by her mother’s older sisters, nearly comes to blows with Dion. The aggravated bridegroom eventually flees the house, taking Miss Maxwell’s cell phone and rental car. Sadly, Dion doesn’t show up for the ceremony, a first in the history of “Bridezillas,” producers say. Then there’s also the matter of the missing $1,500 in cash the bride had set aside to cover some of her wedding expenses.

Still, viewers are in for one last shock. Stay tuned.

Fortunately, there’s a happier ending (at least on the show) for the night’s second “Bridezillas” subject, Alicia Klaunch, who was just 18 when We’s cameras captured all the mayhem leading up to her big day last August.

Less than a year later, however, Mrs. Klaunch and her husband, Noah, 21, have filed for divorce, reports TV station KGET in her native Bakersfield, Calif.

Mr. Klaunch says his wife was perfect for the show.

“It fits her,” he told KGET-TV. “She’s demanding, so the show fits her.”

The film crews shot everything.

“They got once I was crying, screaming, where I was mad and throwing things, they got it all,” Mrs. Klaunch says.

‘Starter’ style for sale

USA Network is auctioning the sexy and sassy fashions from the hit new show “The Starter Wife,” with proceeds going to Dress for Success Worldwide, thefutoncritic.com says.

Viewers have the chance to bid on and wear the chic looks of Molly (played by Emmy winner Debra Messing) and her fabulous friends. Fashionistas can view the clothing and accessories — from such well-known designers and fashion houses as Hermes, Dolce & Gabbana, Jill Sander, Givenchy and Versace — at www.starterwifeauction.com.

The auction has begun and ends at 3 p.m. sharp EST on June 29.

Based on the New York Times best-selling Simon & Schuster novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer (“Rescue Me,” “Maneater”), “The Starter Wife” centers on the quest of one woman (Miss Messing) to redefine herself after years of marriage to a Hollywood studio head. Directed by Jon Avnet (“Fried Green Tomatoes”), the limited six-hour series concludes its run in its regular 9 p.m. time slot on Thursday.

Dress for Success is a nonprofit international organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career-development tools to help them thrive in work and in life. Since its 1997 beginning, the group has expanded to more than 80 cities in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the U.K..

New show for Minnillo?

Somewhere, Nick Lachey is probably cringing.

Vanessa Minnillo — the current girlfriend of the singer and former “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica” co-star — is “in talks” to star in her own reality show, the New York Daily News reports.

“The show would just follow her around in her day,” an unnamed source told the Daily News in Monday’s editions. “She really wants to be famous.”

According to RealityTVworld.com, the reasoning behind Mr. Lachey’s presumable lack of enthusiasm about Miss Minnillo (a former correspondent on “Entertainment Tonight”) landing her own reality series stems from the aforementioned “Newlyweds,” which aired on MTV and documented nearly all of the three-year marriage between Mr. Lachey and his ex-wife Jessica Simpson from their October 2002 wedding to their December 2005 divorce.

“It was among the dumber ideas I think I’ve ever seen executed in history,” Mr. Lachey told David Letterman during an October 2006 interview on “Late Night With David Letterman.”

“For a while, we actually enjoyed doing the show [but] it just got to a place where it was so invasive, it became a problem.”

Mr. Lachey, 33, and Miss Minnillo, 26, began dating following a June 2006 meeting at Toronto’s MuchMusic Video Awards. The couple recently moved in together.

When asked about her “upcoming project” Miss Minnillo declined comment, said the Daily News, which added that her reported reality television show would not be an MTV project.

Somewhere, Jessica Simpson is smiling.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports.