Vanessa Bayer studied QVC for 'I Love That For You'

Vanessa Bayer co-created and stars in "I Love That For You." File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI
1 of 5 | Vanessa Bayer co-created and stars in "I Love That For You." File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, April 29 (UPI) -- Vanessa Bayer said she toured QVC and met with home-shopping hosts to prepare for her role as one on I Love That For You, premiering Friday on Showtime.

"I got to meet these hosts that I've been watching since I was a kid," Bayer said on a recent Television Critics Association Zoom panel.


Bayer, 40, co-created the show with Jeremy Beiler and plays Joanna Gold, an aspiring host at the fictional Special Value Network. When she's about to be fired, Joanna claims her childhood leukemia is back

The lie not only saves her job, but convinces SVN executives to give Joanna a shot at hosting. Bayer said her QVC taught her the techniques of home shopping hosts that helped with writing I Love That For You and with her performance.

"Touching things really helps sell them," Bayer said. "I don't know if it's because the audience may be thinking that they're touching them, too, because they're so far away from the products."


With the advent of online shopping, home shopping operations have adapted to new technology. Bayer said networks like QVC have added apps, but the televised presentations remain integral to their business.

"They've stayed relevant with this app because people can watch the TV part of it as a nonstop commercial," Bayer said. "If they don't feel like getting on the phone with people, they can truly just order on the app."

However, Bayer said speaking with the hosts remains part of the appeal of home shopping. Bayer said she hopes to embody the QVC hosts' conversational abilities.

"While they're selling things to you, they're so conversational that it really does make you feel like you're watching a friend who's just talking to you," Bayer said. "There's this incredible power for them to speak through the TV and make you feel like you're just hanging out with them."

Bayer also likened home shopping to her time at Saturday Night Live. She was a cast member from 2010 to 2017, and said new cast members work their way into prominence the same way home shopping hosts earn better time slots.

"You always want your sketches earlier in the show because they're less likely to get cut," Bayer said. "You start at the very bad time slots on home shopping, and then, hopefully, you get to a point where you move to the better time slots."


As a childhood fan of QVC, Bayer admitted she still is susceptible to its sales pitches.

"Sometimes, you do buy stuff you don't need," Bayer said. "They make it seem so great."

For example, Bayer is not married and has no children. However, she recalls a saleswoman suggesting an outfit appropriate for a daughter's graduation.

"I don't have a daughter, and she certainly doesn't have a graduation, but I'm, like, 'Yeah, I could wear this to my daughter's graduation,'" Bayer said. "They give all of these different situations that you could wear it, and you're going to step into the room and be the best one at the family brunch."

Bayer said her most recent purchase was Casa Zeta-Jones blankets sold by Oscar-winning actor Catherine Zeta-Jones.

"People were calling in to talk to Catherine Zeta-Jones," Bayer said. "We brought these very plush blankets for our three incredible Showtime executives that are making the show with us."

New episodes of I Love That For You air Sundays at 8:30 p.m. EDT on Showtime beginning May 8.

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