The Beautiful Life: TBL

The Beautiful Life: TBL Information

The Beautiful Life: TBL (also known as The Beautiful Life) is


  • Mischa Barton as Sonja Stone " A supermodel, who has returned to the fashion scene after a mysterious disappearance
  • 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.
  • 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 Covet Models 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). Ed Quinn signed on to play the husband of Claudia Foster (Elle Macpherson). Former Miss Israel Gal Gadot was cast to play Olivia, a Gisele BŁndchen type supermodel at the top of her game. 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.

Guest stars

The first episode shows the models at a Zac Posen runway show at New York Fashion Week, where Posen 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. 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 of America's Next Top Model 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.


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?". 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.

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. The show was officially cancelled on September 25, 2009 due to the poor reception.

The series received negative to mixed reviews from critics, scoring a 41 out of 100 on aggregate reviewer Metacritic. Glenn Garvin of The Miami Herald gave the series a positive review, noting that Paxton and Hollingsworth's characters were "so unexpectedly affecting that you may find yourself sucked into the show against your will." Paige Wiser of the Chicago Sun-Times also positively reviewed the series, stating "most of the characters are about as distinctive as mannequins. You won't mind, though, because they're awfully nice to look at." Wiser complimented Barton's character, stating through her it may achieve "inadvertent poignancy." Robert Lloyd of The Los Angeles Times noted how the show was very similar to most The CW dramas, commenting "because they do not aim particularly high, they pretty much hit what they aim at." David Hinckley of The New York Daily News echoed the same thoughts stating that the show "is designed to fit alongside CW anchors like 90210, except that even by those standards, it's pretty predictable and stilted." Brian Lowry of Variety said "the cast and writing are efficient enough, but nothing really pops."

Robert Bianco of USA Today gave the series a mixed review, stating "It may lack Melrose Place's flashy production values and trashy pedigree, but it makes up for that by being marginally better written, though admittedly, we're not talking about a particularly high bar here." Bianco went on to criticize the acting of the cast, calling them "unimpressive", stating "what's dispiriting about Beautiful Life is that it's too lazy to even work as successful eye candy." Bianco also criticized Mischa Barton, calling her "inept" in her role, stating that "she was stilted at best on The O.C., and instead of improving as an actress, she's merely solidified bad habits." Matthew Gilbert of Boston Globe called the pilot "half-baked" further stating, "Whether that's due to Barton or deeper creative problems is unclear." Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle called the show "unwatchable", noting the its "pointless gloss and heinous writing." Linda Stasi of The New York Post said that only 12-year-olds could believe the show, calling the actors "unbelieveable", commenting "they can't even get the runway stomp right." Stasi also negatively commented on the dialogue of the show. Calling the plot "laughable" and the acting "mediocre", Jonathan Storm of The Philadelphia Inquirer said the show featured the "usual cynical CW glorification of teen sexuality and substance abuse."

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.

Network TEN in Australia had the rights to air the show, but announced it would not air it at all after it was cancelled.

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.


Released online "
# Title Directed by Written by Original air date Viewers*
EpisodeNumber=1 ShortSummary= 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. Aux4= 1.38
Views online: 938,892
LineColor=CC668C }}
Released online "

EpisodeNumber=2 ShortSummary=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. Aux4=1.04
Views online: 686,842
LineColor=CC668C }}

EpisodeNumber=3 ShortSummary=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 Cole 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. Aux4= Views online: 778,295 LineColor=CC668C }}

EpisodeNumber=4 ShortSummary= 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. Aux4= Views online: 637,368 LineColor=CC668C }}

EpisodeNumber=5 ShortSummary=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 doesn't get booked for the Herve Leger show. Aux4= Views online: 829,195 LineColor=CC668C }}

  • *American viewers are listed in millions.

Episodes online

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. 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. 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.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_Beautiful_Life%3A_TBL" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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