Cashmere Mafia

Monday 4 August, 8.30pm

Having the opportunity to return to New York City to star in the TV2 series Cashmere Mafia was what drew Lucy Liu to the production. Born in Queens and schooled in Manhattan, Liu says New York has incredible energy that can’t be matched by anywhere else in the world.

“It’s really a city that is completely alive and being on location is the best thing ever because you get to be around people all the time and it’s just a different energy, it’s different than being on a lot and having it sort of look like New York, but not really being New York. It’s just really wonderful.”
Liu plays Mia Mason, a rising star at a magazine publishing group who finds that success often comes with a heavy price. She says the role “jumped out” at her when she first read the script.

“I thought it was really interesting to have four women being in the corporate world. Having women be modern and trying to find the balance between their families, and their relationships, and their work, and seeing how that works because I think that’s something that’s really normal for all of us to have to try and balance.”

Believing people can identify with her character, Liu says she knows plenty of women who want to have it all.

“Whether they’re in acting or they’re in business, whether in travel, whatever they are doing they are struggling with trying to take care of their children and trying to run a business and trying to make something of themselves. Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean that you can’t have dreams and aspirations. I think that’s something that is important and to find that struggle is something that we’re sort of discovering along the way in this show.”

Cashmere Mafia tonight sees Mia return to claim everything she left at Jack’s place, including a tape she made of them having sex, after seeing his new girlfriend wearing one of her scarves on television.

Any hopes Juliet had for an amicable divorce are dashed after she finds Davis clearing out their apartment of much of its art and furniture – and the Aston Martin he just gave her. Orders from Henry Gorham to land billionaire Maxwell Tate as a client present Zoe with a formidable challenge now that she and Clayton are competing for a big promotion. Meanwhile, when Caitlin goes in for a sonogram, she is surprised when Alicia’s ex-girlfriend, Olivia, shows up, too.

Monday 30 June, 8.30pm

TV2’s new one-hour drama Cashmere Mafia is a heartfelt and humorous look at four ambitious women who have come to rely on each other as friends. From Sex And The City creator Darren Star, Cashmere Mafia assembles a quartet of bright, driven women who support each other through rocky marriages, rival colleagues, kids’ recitals and the hunt for the perfect loft. But their ambition comes with a price – though they consistently outpace their male colleagues and husbands in salary and title, they must watch out for scheming rivals who are eager to bring them down.

Here are four Manhattan women bonded by their Ivy League education and boardroom success: Zoe Burden (Frances O’Connor, Timeline), the youngest-ever managing director at a big investment bank, who is constantly trying to strike the right balance between the demands of her career and those as a wife and mother; Mia Mason (Lucy Liu, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle), who’s climbing to the top of a magazine publishing group; Juliet Draper (Miranda Otto, The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy), the head of a large luxury hotel chain, as well as a successful charity fundraiser; and cosmetics company executive Caitlin Dowd (Bonnie Somerville, NYPD Blue), whose brilliant track record at work stands in stark contrast to an unsatisfying romantic life.
The series premiere sees Zoe’s meteoric rise at the bank hit a speed bump when she learns a young woman she was mentoring is having an affair with a senior partner, and her ability to put in long hours is jeopardised when her architect husband, Eric (Julian Ovenden, Charmed), lands a new job. While Caitlin’s unexpected feelings for her new assistant force her to finally begin accepting she’s gay; Mia’s relationship with her boyfriend is strained when their boss forces them to compete for an all-or-nothing promotion; and Juliet discovers her husband, Davis (Peter Hermann, United 93), is having an affair.

Once it’s clear Juliet’s husband is cheating, Zoe, Caitlin and Mia rally to deliver the bad news. But Juliet surprises them with her willingness to accept the situation and by how deftly she handles the fact that the other woman is someone they all know – and hate. In the end, it’s the strength of their long-time friendships that helps them face whatever New York City’s fast-lane life can throw at them in Cashmere Mafia.

Lucy Liu says Mia’s character interested her as she is different to previous roles she’s played: “She’s not really a barracuda. She’s really good at her job, but she’s really into fashion and her girlfriends too.” A true trendsetter, Mia’s likely to wear what’s in style next season and pair it with sky high heels.

Although Cashmere Mafia follows four Manhattan women and is created by Darren Star (Sex And The City), Liu believes that after a few episodes, people will see Cashmere Mafia is very different from Star’s previous work.

Executive producer Star agrees, adding that the show is about how successful women juggle their personal and professional lives.

Watch the series premiere tonight at 8.30pm on TV2

A quartet of bright, driven women must watch out for scheming rivals who are eager to bring them down.

Premieres 8:30pm Monday 30 June on TV2

Not sure if I can be bothered watching this though – since only 7 episodes were made thanks to the writer’s strike and it hasn’t been renewed for a second season. They’re not even releasing a DVD.

U.S. network television will present a stronger feminine side next season, with a parade of new prime time heroines, including a bionic woman, a cyborg-fighting mom and a group of high-heeled sleuths.

Nearly a dozen new shows featuring women protagonists, some in crime-fighting, butt-kicking roles, are part of broadcasters’ recently unveiled 2007-2008 TV schedules.

The list includes sci-fi dramas, sitcoms, a spinoff of the hit hospital soap “Grey’s Anatomy” and a pair of shows billed as descendants of the landmark former HBO “dramedy” about four urban singletons, “Sex and the City.”

Female-led shows are hardly new to TV — just ask Lucille Ball, Marlo Thomas, Mary Tyler Moore or Angie Dickinson. But the latest offerings represent an unusually large number of prime time series for and about women.

They follow a memorable year for women in the media, from Katie Couric, who moved from morning TV to anchoring the CBS Evening News, to the on-camera acrimony that swept ABC’s talk show “The View.”

Since women account for a majority of America’s TV audience, it is no surprise that networks want to appeal to them.

GREY SUCCESS

TV producers, writers and network programmers are driven largely by their desire to repeat a winning formula, so experts say the latest trend was undoubtedly influenced by the success of recent hits like ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Ugly Betty,” which drew a broad audience while catering to women.

Some female-centered shows have proven more popular with both genders, particularly action dramas.

“There’s something very enticing to men about a girl who can kick butt, as long as it’s not theirs,” said Shari Anne Brill, director of programming for media buying agency Carat USA. “Women are much more into watching shows about friendship and relationships than men are.”

This fall, the networks are introducing both types of shows.

NBC plans to launch “Bionic Woman,” a remake of the 1970s series that starred Lindsay Wagner as a wonder of super-human engineering, and “Lipstick Jungle,” based on the bestseller by “Sex and the City” author Candace Bushnell, about three high-powered women, one of them played by Brooke Shields.

Fox is going the sci-fi action route, too, with “The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” a “Terminator” films spinoff. It follows the title character as she fights to save herself and her son from an onslaught of robotic enemies from the future.

Two other Fox entries include the courtroom drama “Canterbury’s Law,” starring “ER” veteran Julianna Margulies as a rebellious defense attorney, and the sitcom “The Return of Jezebel James,” about the uneasy relationship of two sisters.

But the heaviest concentration of new female stars is on ABC, where “Grey’s Anatomy” is begetting the new medical drama “Private Practice,” with Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Montgomery.

New ABC offerings also include “Women’s Murder Club,” about a group of San Francisco women investigating homicides, and Cashmere Mafia,” another female ensemble drama from “Sex and the City” creator-producer Darren Star.

Even the upcoming ABC drama “Big Shots,” about of four male business executives, has been described as a wish-fulfillment show for women, depicting men the way women would like to them to be — sensitive and in touch with their feelings.

“It’s very much a chicks’ show,” Brill said. “It’s re-imagining men as maybe being human too.”

Source: Yahoo! TV