- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2003

What makes a domestic goddess? Plenty.
ABC has just hired Roseanne Barr to star in "The Domestic Goddess Hour," a weekly cooking and lifestyle show, centered upon the comedienne who once hollered and spat her way through "The Star Spangled Banner" during a 1990 baseball game.
There will be celebrity chefs, music, how-tos, girl talk, comedy and other intrigues as Miss Barr known as "Roseanne Arnold" and just-plain "Roseanne" in previous incarnations returns to television after a three-year absence.
"She likes to say this is an 'eating' show, not a 'cooking' show. But viewers will indeed learn things," said producer R.J. Cutler by phone from Hollywood yesterday.
ABC also plans to produce a companion reality TV series based on Miss Barr's daily life. It will "tap into the incredible resources of the Walt Disney Company," according to Angela Shapiro, president of the ABC Family cable channel.
Miss Barr, who sells her own "Hot Flash" variety of hot sauce, is every inch the domestic goddess, Mr. Cutler noted.
"Absolutely. Roseanne has been calling herself a domestic goddess for 20 years. She owns the copyright on the term. She's the original domestic goddess, and that's who people will see on this show."
There are other domestic goddesses afoot, however. Brownyn Llewellyn, author of "Goddess at Home" contends in her new book that "if a man's home is his castle, than a woman's home is her temple."
Other recent books include "Goddess Diet" for theRubenesque, "Goddess in Every Woman" for the spiritually inclined, and "Kiss My Tiara: How to Rule the World As a Smartmouth Goddess."
The much-visited iVillage woman's Web site offers "What kind of goddess are you?" a quiz that determines if the subject is inclined to be Aphrodite, Hera, Hestia or a host of other mythical females.
But the most goddess-y of all seems to be Britain's Nigella Lawson, who wrote "How to be a Domestic Goddess," two years ago and headlines "Nigella Bites," seen on Channel 4.
"We want to feel not like a postmodern, postfeminist, overstretched modern woman but, rather, a domestic goddess, trailing nutmeggy fumes of baking pie in our languorous wake," Miss Lawson wrote. "So what I'm talking about is not being a domestic goddess, exactly, but feeling like one."
Such things resonated with the good ladies of Britain. Miss Lawson chased chief rival and 30-year BBC veteran Delia Smith from the airwaves. Miss Smith, who sold 15 million cookbooks and could spike the national sales of certain ingredients with her culinary blessings, said she was "reciped out … I've had enough."
The cachet of TV chef would fade, she predicted on announcing her retirement. "The bubble will burst. I know it will."
But in the meantime, another domestic goddess will not be defeated.
Martha Stewart is expanding her kingdom to include pets, though dogged in the past year by a Securities and Exchange Commission probe of her on suspicion of insider trading at ImClone Systems Inc., a biotechnology company.
"Marthagate," as the situation came to be known in the press, cost her millions in lost revenue, and considerable anxiety.
Mrs. Stewart nevertheless announced Thursday that her media company would produce "Petkeeping with Marc Morrone," a half-hour show built around the kindly but eccentric pet expert of the same name and his entourage of chinchillas, macaws, giant rabbits, kittens and puppies.
Mr. Morrone would make an ideal "brand representative," Mrs. Stewart observed.



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