Bette Midler Calls CBS Sitcom A “Big Mistake” & Regrets Not Suing Lindsay Lohan For Exiting Show After Pilot


Bette Midler is not holding back her thoughts on calling out her blunders from the past, and one of those is the 2000 sitcom Bette.

Midler recently recalled her stint as a sitcom star and called that experience a “mistake.” She also regretted not suing Lindsay Lohan after she dropped out of the show following the pilot.

“I did a television show, Bette. Does it get any more generic than that? A big, big, big mistake,” Midler said on David Duchovny’s Fail Better podcast. “I think for several reasons. It was the wrong motivation. It was a part of the media I simply did not understand. I watched it. I appreciated it. I enjoyed it, But I didn’t know what it meant to make it.”

She continued, “I had made theatrical live events. I had made films. I had made variety television shows. I had been on talk shows. But I had never done a situation comedy. I didn’t realize what the pace was. And I didn’t understand what the hierarchy was. And no one bothered to tell me.”

Midler said she “was kicked to the curb immediately” with no one guiding her through the process of the television world, adding, “But because I was so green, I didn’t understand what my options were, what choices I could have made to improve my situation. I didn’t know that I could have taken charge.”

Cast of the CBS television pilot episode, 'Bette.' (L-R) James Dreyfus (as Oscar), Joanna Gleason (as Connie Randolph), Bette Midler (as Bette), Lindsay Lohan (as Rose) and Kevin Dunn (as Roy).

Bette aired on CBS from October 2000 through March 2001. The show created by Jeffrey Lane consisted of 18 episodes, two of which went unaired and was canceled after one season. Bette played a version of herself on the show, with Kevin Dunn playing her husband and Lindsay Lohan playing her daughter Rose in the pilot.

It was Lohan’s departure from the sitcom where Midler noticed things happening “that were so astonishing.”

“After the pilot, Lindsay Lohan decided she didn’t want to do it, or she had other fish to fry,” Midler said. “So Lindsay Lohan left the building and I said, well, now what do you do? And the studio didn’t help me. It was extremely chaotic . . . and if I had been in my right mind, or if I had known that my part of my duties were to stand up and say, ‘This absolutely will not do, I’m going to sue,’ then I would have done that. But I seem to have been cosseted in some way that I couldn’t get to the writer’s room. I couldn’t speak to the showrunner. I couldn’t make myself clear.”

Midler says she was “thrilled” when the show was canceled after one season.

Lohan recently shared a promo picture of the show alongside Midler, captioning the Instagram post, “Had such a blast filming with the incredible [Bette Midler].”

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