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Sabrina “Brini” Maxwell is a fictional character created by actor Ben Sander. Described by Guy Trebey of the Village Voice  as the "prototypical, pre-feminist, 1960s homemaker", Maxwell has also been described as a composite of Doris Day, Mary Tyler Moore, Auntie Mame, That Girl and Donna Reed and came to prominence in the late '90s as the host of her eponymous television show on Public-access television cable TV in Manhattan.
The pilot for the original show was produced in 1996. The show debuted on Manhattan Neighborhood Network on January 1, 1998, and aired for five years featuring tips, recipes, entertaining ideas, craft projects, home renovation and interior design schemes. It was produced by Sander’s production company, V.R.U.S.P. Inc., and directed by Sander’s mother, Mary Jane Wells.
In 2001 Sander was contacted by Amy Briamonte, east coast director of development for west coast based Termite Art Productions (now Creative Differences Productions). Briamonte and Sander developed a pitch for the show for the Bravo network and received an order for a pilot. The pilot was produced in the summer of 2002 for a show titled Charming, Needs Work. The premise for the show was Maxwell lived in an apartment that she redecorated every week. After Bravo passed on the show Briamonte, Sander and Termite Art pitched it to Stephen Schwartz and Heather Moran, newly named VP’s of programming for the Style network. The pitch resulted in an order for a 13-episode season
The first season of The Brini Maxwell Show for the Style network was taped in the summer of 2003 with studio production taking place on the main stage at Unitel Studios on west 57th St. in New York City. Location shoots for the season were taped over a period of 6 months in New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The Brini Maxwell Show debuted on the Style network on Thursday, January 1, 2004 at 9pm.
The second season went into production in the summer of 2004 and debuted in November 2004. The show was cancelled after two seasons. Nevertheless, Brini handled the cancellation with the same grace and style for which she has become well-known. She is still a popular figure in New York City's social circle.
Ben was born on July 23, 1969, at Boston Lying In Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts to Peter and Mary Jane. The first seven years of his life were spent in Wellesley, MA with his father teaching theater at Brandeis University and his mother alternately keeping house and acting in professional productions in Boston and New York as well as touring with her own one woman adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. In 1976 the family moved to the small college town of Athens, Ohio, home of Ohio University. Ben attended elementary and middle school in Athens while his father taught in the graduate theater program there. In 1980 Peter Sander received a Pell grant and moved the family to Cleveland, OH, where he acted as a Dramaturge for The Cleveland Play House. The Playhouse offered Ben his first opportunity to act professionally. He was cast as Bodo in a production of Lillian Hellman’s Watch on the Rhine. They returned to Athens in 1981 for two years. In 1983 Peter took a job with The University of Missouri in Kansas City where Ben attended Center Senior High School. Ben performed in high school theatrical productions, but eventually forsook the stage for the costume room becoming the costume designer during his senior year, using his extensive collection of vintage clothing as costumes for the productions that year. After graduating high school in 1987 Sander attended the Kansas City Art Institute foundations program.
In 2006 the family again moved; this time to Hempstead, Long Island, where his father had been hired as the chair for the theater department of Hofstra University. Ben spent a few years getting his sea legs in New York, working at various jobs and studying fashion illustration with Veronica Galati. He then applied to, and was accepted into the fashion design program at Fashion Institute of Technology in 1989. Ben spent four years studying his craft at FIT. Graduating in 1993, he obtained a job at moderate dress house, BGB as an assistant designer. His job was making patterns for the samples. The company reorganized nine months after he was hired and he was let go. After that he worked at a bridal boutique, and two furriers before moving into Manhattan and developing The Brini Maxwell Show for television.