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'Jackie Collins' testing for regular spot on talk show circuit

Web posted on: Friday, July 10, 1998 3:54:58 PM

From Correspondent Ron Tank

HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- She's a best-selling author whose 17 novels have sold 200 million copies and been transformed into television mini-series. And because of her popularity, Jackie Collins has become a celebrity in her own right, interviewed wherever she goes.

Now, Collins is turning the microphones around in her new talk show about --- what else? -- Hollywood. "Jackie Collins' Hollywood" is in the middle of a trial run, but Collins thinks she has the recipe for success.

"People are intrigued by fame, power and wealth and I think Hollywood is the only place where you get all three together," Collins says.

Collins talks with guest Sheryl Lee Ralph

'A wonderful conversation'

After years of mingling with the Hollywood set, Collins says she has no reservations about interviewing stars.

"I go to all the parties, I go to the same restaurants, I've seen them over the years and they know me and I'm not intimidated by anybody," Collins says. "And I will ask them any question I feel like asking them."

Her guests are complimentary of her style.

"She's pretty good," says Sheryl Lee Ralph, who taped an interview with Collins recently. "What I like about it is the fact that she doesn't seem like she's thinking in her head what she's gonna ask you next. What it is is a wonderful conversation."

'What makes them tick'

To help get guests to cough up information, Collins offers autographed copies of her books.

"We want to find out different things about celebrities, what makes them tick, how did they meet their husband, what is it like at home," Collins says.

Early shows have featured Anna Nicole Smith, Marlee Matlin, Tony Danza, Tracy Ullman and George Clooney.

They cozied up with Collins on a set in the very same Bel Air mansion that gangster Lucky Luciano once lived in, that Eddie Murphy used to call home, and that even served as a setting for X-rated films.

If Collins' show lasts, the mansion will have a new claim to fame. The series is being tested in just four cities this summer. If it does well in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Phoenix, expect to see it elsewhere.

Collins is taking the test in stride.

"If it works, great," she says. "And if it doesn't, I write books."

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