Bette Midler says sitcom “Bette ”was a 'big mistake,' recalls chaos from Lindsay Lohan's exit

Bette Midler says sitcom “Bette ”was a 'big mistake,' recalls chaos from Lindsay Lohan's exit

The actress revisits her short-lived 2000 sitcom flop on David Duchovny's "Fail Better" podcast.

Not even Bette Midler is immune to career flops. See: Bette, her short-lived CBS sitcom.

During the latest episode of David Duchovny's Fail Better podcast, the veteran actress, 78, called the 2000 sitcom a "big, big mistake" and also revisited the chaos after onscreen daughter Lindsay Lohan dropped out of the show after the pilot.

"I did a television show, Bette. Does it get any more generic than that? A big, big, big mistake," Midler said. "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."

"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," she continued. "I didn't realize what the pace was. And I didn't understand what the hierarchy was. And no one bothered to tell me."

<p>CBS via Getty</p> Lindsay Lohan and Bette Midler on 'Bette'

CBS via Getty

Lindsay Lohan and Bette Midler on 'Bette'

Duchovny said, "Well, the hierarchy should have been, since Bette is the name of the show, you should have been number one on the hierarchy."

"Well, I was kicked to the curb immediately," Midler said. "And I didn't know what to do about it. I mean, all the signs were there. 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."

Midler played a version of herself, a celebrity adored by her fans, on the one-season sitcom, which followed her otherwise grounded personal life at home with her college professor husband Roy (Kevin Dunn, plus Robert Hays in later episodes) and teenage daughter Rose (Lohan). The star believes the sitcom would have worked better "if I had had a team that was on my side," adding that "things happened that were so astonishing," citing Lohan's departure.

"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's time on the sitcom ultimately became too "taxing," and she was "thrilled" once it came to an end. “The mad scramble to keep up was just too intense," she said.

Despite the scramble, Lohan appears to have fond memories from the show. She recently shared a throwback photo with Midler on Instagram and wrote that she "had such a blast" filming with the "incredible" Midler.

Listen to Midler's interview with Duchovny above. New episodes of the podcast drop Tuesdays.

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