Britney Spears and husband Kevin Federline to star in new UPN reality series
By Reality TV World staff, 04/05/2005
Taking her ongoing battles with the tabloids to a new level, Britney Spears and UPN have announced that Britney and her new husband Kevin Federline will star in a new six-episode UPN reality series. Set to premiere sometime in May, the as of yet untitled series will document the story of the couple's courtship, engagement and wedding.
"I am so excited about the series. From the day that Kevin and I met, there have been constant rumors and inaccurate speculation about our lives together," said Britney in a network-issued statement. "I feel that last year the tabloids ran my life and I am really excited about showing my fans what really happened rather than all the stories, which have been misconstrued by journalists in the past. As I mentioned before, I am now going to be expressing my personal life through art. This series will show us falling in love and all the adventures that went on overseas during the European leg of my Onyx Hotel tour. It's going to be an exciting ride," the pop princess also added. "It is a documentation of love," stated a much briefer Kevin.
However, despite earlier reports that Britney and her husband were "in talks" to take over Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey's MTV Newlyweds series, the format of the couple's new UPN series will be significantly different Newlyweds' professionally-filmed "a day in the life" format. Instead, given that the UPN Britney/Kevin project is intended to document the couple's courtship, engagement and wedding -- events that have already occurred -- the majority of the show will consist of home video footage already shot by the couple themselves and supplemented with commentaries and new follow-up footage.
According to UPN Entertainment president Dawn Ostroff, the series will allow Britney and Kevin to "tell their love story their way." "Britney Spears is a superstar who is very popular with UPN's viewers, making her and Kevin's show in this format a perfect fit for our network's audience and programming sensibilities," stated Ostroff.
"As we all know, Britney and Kevin's life together has been played out in front of the public through Internet speculation, the gossip columnists and entertainment magazines, but now, for the first time, their millions of fans will get to see and hear the couple's real story on UPN as told directly by them," added Ostroff. "They'll tell viewers, 'This is when we first met' or 'This is when we started dating,'" Ostroff explained to Daily Variety
With the couple having already documented their European tour (an event that, at the time, had been reported to be at the center of another previous Britney Spears reality show pitch), the preparations for their wedding, and the wedding day itself, an outside producer will be brought in to help edit the footage into a show -- with a goal of creating five half-hour episodes and a one-hour wedding day finale.
While the project may sound like little more than a sanitized televised viewing of the couple's "best home videos moments" to many, Ostroff insists that's not the case. "I don't think there's anything sugarcoated about this," Ostroff told Variety. "It's pretty raw and pretty real. I don't think [viewers] have ever been exposed to people being so honest and open about their lives." "Even if it were a fictitious story, it would be interesting. The fact that it's about one of the biggest stars out there makes it all the more fascinating."
Since UPN is a Viacom network -- and, unlike its CBS sister broadcast network, a small one -- the network also ended up partnering with Viacom's MTV Music Group as part of efforts land the show. "The competition for the show was pretty heated, and we were able to reach out to MTV Networks and put together a deal," Ostroff explained to the trade paper.
As a result, in addition to airing weekly on UPN, MTV or VH1 (or maybe both) have been granted a "second window" that will allow them to rerun the show's most recent episode several days after its UPN debut. Like VH1 did for last season's Top Model 3 finale, MTV and/or VH1 will also run a marathon of the show's first five episode's prior to UPN's hour-long wedding broadcast finale.