Over the past 10 years, Katherine Heigl’s star has gone from one of the brightest in Hollywood, to a flicker made nearly invisible by a notoriously bad reputation and seal of disapproval from Shonda Rhimes. The woman who once starred in hits like Grey’s Anatomy and Knocked Up is now unable to keep a show from cancellation or a movie from scathing reviews. But, based on a four-minute segment from this morning’s episode of Today, I believe she has big plans for the next step in her career.
Hold on to your butts, because it looks like Katherine Heigl is attempting to repair her image by launching a lifestyle brand.
The segment began like the first paragraph of the inevitable profile that will accompany its official announcement:
“A trip to Katherine Heigl’s Utah ranch is like watching a Pinterest board come to life. If there’s such a thing as farmhouse chic, this is it. Everything is picture perfect. All it needs is a Hollywood star.”
While the barn she calls home is gorgeous and ‘farmhouse chic’, there is something odd about Today’s trip to Utah: Heigl isn’t promoting anything. She doesn’t even mention Jenny’s Wedding, her lesbian wedding movie out next week. Instead, she shows off her “organic garden,” enormous guest home, makes multiple kinds of pesto with her daughters, and says things like, “I love hosting. I love cooking. I love sewing and knitting.”
But morning shows aren’t in the business of blind promotion; everything has an angle. As discussed in a Hollywood Reporter piece from April, NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America are all about showcasing programs “and personalities of [their] network and [their] sister properties.” But now that State of Affairs has been canceled, Heigl is no longer an NBC personality, and her IMDB profile makes no mention of upcoming projects with NBC-Universal. So why the hell is she being given four minutes of prime morning show real estate on the network?
You know what I think? I think Heigl called in a favor. You couldn’t keep my comeback show afloat? Let me show off my barn and cook pesto on the air. Given how hyped State of Affairs was and how quickly it crashed and burned, I don’t think it would have been an unreasonable request - and I suspect it’s the first step on her journey to become a lifestyle brand.
Keep that in mind when viewing the segment, and you’ll notice that it comes across like the pitch for a show called, like, The Barn’s Always Open with Katie Heigl. Or at least a blog/newsletter called Katie’s Barn Door.
“We didn’t want just some fancy pretty barn to look at and brag about, we wanted to utilize it.”
And with its tall ceilings, there’s plenty of space for cameras and lighting setups!
“The kitchen is center stage, where Katherine—often with her mom Nancy—tries new recipes out on her toughest customers: her two girls.”
Cooking with mom and pleasing the kids? How’s that for an angle?
“In between meals, it’s time for fun on the farm.” [Katherine says, “Mamie let’s go feed the goats.”] “The ranch is home to, get this, 44 animals.”
Every cooking show needs a break from the kitchen. Oh, we finished the dessert? Let’s check on the goats while it chills in the fridge. I think one of them is about to give birth!
“Katherine’s love for animals and the camera seems to be contagious.”
Readying her children for the cameras, perhaps?
“While the girls play, it’s time for Katherine to start planning another meal. Tonight’s pick-your-pesto pasta bar with roasted cherry tomatoes takes us from the greenhouse to the organic garden.”
On today’s episode of The Barn’s Always Open, Katie cooks up an creative dinner for her the girls. It’s fun, easy, and—best of all—healthy!
Katherine, explaining garlic scapes: “Underneath, in the ground, the garlic is growing..but these long shoots come out, and they’re more mild than actual garlic.”
She’s explaining garlic scapes? This is no longer a theory. This is as real as it gets.
“But when it comes to making a tasty meal, Katherine says you don’t need a garden to keep things fresh..’You can grow tomatoes, basil, rosemary, all your herbs...on your windowsill in tiny little mason jars.”
Ahh, a good old-fashioned blog post about something else you can do with mason jars!
At one point, Heigl speaks about how inspirational her Utah ranch/future cooking show set is. She ends waking up there every morning makes her “feel motivated to do something.”
I think I know exactly what that something is. And so do Gwyneth, Blake, and Reese.
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