Sara Paxton

Mischa Barton didn't turn up Tuesday at a panel to promote her new show, The CW's The Beautiful Life: TBL. But she had a good excuse: Executive producer Ashton Kutcher said she was unavailable because she was on set shooting the series.

Barton was hospitalized after Los Angeles police said they escorted her to a hospital for an undisclosed medical problem July 15. Her spokesman told The Associated Press on July 27 that she had been released. "Mischa's in New York working today on the show," Kutcher said at the Television Critics Association's fall TV tour in Pasadena, Calif. "She was never unavailable for a day of work."

Barton's hospitalization, unfortunate as it may be, has proven a publicity boon for the CW drama, which debuts Wednesday, Sept. 16. Besides Barton, who plays an insecure, pill-popping supermodel, the show features Elle Macpherson as a modeling executive, High School Musical's Corbin Bleu as a child model-turned-musician, and Sara Paxton and Ben Hollingsworth as newcomers to the business.

The series is based in part on the experiences of Kutcher and writer Adam Giaudrone, both former models.