Their video "Grandmas Watch Kim Kardashian Sex Tape" went viral, with more than 2.5 million views on YouTube and replays on Access Hollywood, Anderson Cooper and many local TV outlets. "Our lives changed overnight," says Mary Bartnicki, 80, eldest of the three sisters. "It's mind-boggling."
The sisters' online adventures began when Teresa Dahlquist, 70, read a book about how to produce a reality TV show and met with LMNO Productions (CBS' I Get That a Lot, Discovery's Unusual Suspects) to pitch a series about her plumber son.
LMNO president Eric Schotz hated the pitch but liked the presenter. Dahlquist mentioned that she had equally funny sisters, and after meeting the trio, he signed them on the spot. Now, he says, he is in discussions with four networks to have the women host a TV talk show. He hopes to have a deal wrapped up soon.
The sisters, formerly from the Bronx, N.Y., get together in this Los Angeles suburb every Wednesday for lunch and chat. Dahlquist's twin, Josie Cavaluzzi, 70, owns a hair salon nearby.
Because TV prefers to spotlight younger folks, Schotz says he decided to try to find an audience for the women online first, before meeting with networks. He started with a Web site and YouTube videos.
His staff taped the women talking about various things at Bartnicki's kitchen table. During one shoot, Cavaluzzi mentioned that salon customers were talking about the Kardashians and her infamous sex tape. The videographer pulled out a computer and asked the trio to watch, to get their reactions.
Two weeks later, the video was posted, and the women were collecting millions of online fans. Since then, Schotz has posted more videos of the women online, talking presidential politics, dating, Italian food and, naturally, sex.
When USA TODAY visited the trio here, Bartnicki talked about the tips she picked up from Kardashian's video ("You're never too old to learn") and her dream double date for her and Dahlquist: Carl Reiner, 90, and Mel Brooks, 85, who also happen to be widowed, like them. "We just want to talk," she says. (Cavaluzzi is still married.)
Meanwhile, Dahlquist says they're having the time of their lives. "When you're 70, you want to have fun. Otherwise, you're dead and invisible. And we're not invisible anymore."
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