NBC to air six summer reality series, including shows featuring Tommy Lee and Paris Hilton's mother Kathy
By Reality TV World staff, 05/01/2005
NBC has announced plans to air six reality series as part of its Summer 2005 programming schedule. Staggering their debuts throughout the summer, the network will launch the shows in three waves, starting with I Want To Be A Hilton and Average Joe 4: The Joes Strike Back in late June, followed by The Law Firm and Meet Mister Mom in late July/early August, and concluding with the mid-August premieres of Tommy Lee Goes To College and the second season of The Biggest Loser, its Fall 2005 surprise hit.
"We have six shows, and we want to roll them out in a logical way and not put everything on too early or too late," NBC scheduling chief Mitch Metcalf told Daily Variety in explaining the network's staggered launch schedule. "We don't want to tax our promotional resources. We also want to have some promising series start later and carry through" until the fall season begins in late September.
Starting NBC's summer reality programming will be I Want To Be A Hilton, premiering with the broadcast of back-to-back one-hour episodes on Tuesday, June 21 at 8PM ET/PT. First announced last spring with the working title of The Good Life, I Want To Be A Hilton will feature Paris Hilton's mother Kathy hosting a competition in which fourteen wannabe celebutantes will compete for a chance to live like a Hilton for a year.
Immersing them in the New York society scene, Hilton will mentor and educate the contestants in the do's-and-don'ts of haute couture, etiquette, and even how to handle the unforgiving press. At the end of each episode, Hilton will eliminate contestants based on how they performed in weekly challenges, with the winning contestant reported to receive a prize package that includes a year's free stay at the family's flagship Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City.
Produced by Endemol USA (Big Brother, Fear Factor), Hilton is executive produced by Paul Buccieri, Jason Hervey, Rick Hilton and Danny Salles
Joining Hilton the following week will be Average Joe 4: The Joes Strike Back, the fourth installment of popular reality series that NBC first aired during the 2003-2004 primetime television season. With Average Joe 4 premiering on Tuesday, June 28 at 8PM ET/PT, Hilton will settle into its regular 9PM ET/PT time period.
While NBC isn't revealing any details about Average Joe 4's twists, one thing is clear -- rather than the originally planned turnabout-is-fair-play Average Jane format that was scheduled to air in Fall 2004, the new Average Joe 4 will once again center around not so hunky men competing for a beautiful bachelorette. This time around the woman will be Anna Chudoba, a 26-year-old red-headed model and entrepreneur who was born in Poland and raised in Las Vegas. Competing for Anna's heart will be eighteen big-hearted averaging-looking guys... and seven strikingly handsome hunks who are confident that Anna will only have eyes for them
Produced by NBC Universal Television Studio and Krasnow Productions, the six-episode Average Joe 4: The Joes Strike Back is executive produced by Stuart Krasnow and Andrew Glassman.
Launching NBC's second summer reality wave will be The Law Firm, an eight-episode reality-elimination series that will premiere Wednesday, July 27 at 9PM ET/PT with consecutive episodes. First announced last summer, The Law Firm was created by former long-time reality TV basher David E. Kelly -- the legendary television producer responsible for scripted hits like The Practice, Boston Public, Ally McBeal, Chicago Hope, Picket Fences, and L.A. Law.
Featuring real lawyers that are competing against each other while trying actual court cases with in front of real judges and juries, The Law Firm will result in outcomes that (similar to the long-running syndicated The People's Court) are final, legal and binding for the parties. Similar to The Apprentice, The Law Firm will follow twelve lawyers overseen by "managing partner" Roy Black, one of the country's premier trial lawyers. Working in different teams every week, the attorneys will battle tight deadlines, intense pressure and even each other as they strategize, prepare and try their cases. While juries or "distinguished judges" will decide each case, only Trump Black will determine which lawyers get fired eliminated in each episode, with the "last lawyer standing" winning a $250,000 cash prize.
Produced by Renegade 83 Productions (The Surreal Life, Blind Date) in association with David E. Kelley Productions and 20th Century Fox Television, The Law Firm is executive-produced by Kelley, David Garfinkle, Jay Renfroe, Jonathan Pontell, and Robert Breech.
Joining The Law Firm the following Wednesday (August 3) at 8PM will be Meet Mister Mom, a previously unannounced series that sounds like a cross between ABC's Wife Swap and the similarly-titled 1983 Mr. Mom comedy film that starred Michael Keaton as an unemployed dad who took over the homemaking responsibilities when his wife returned to the workforce.
Like ABC's Wife Swap, Meet Mister Mom will send two under-appreciated Moms away -- but rather than joining the households of each other's families, the women will be sent on luxury vacations... leaving each family's Dad to run the household for a week. Billed as a reality-comedy series, each Meet Mister Mom episode will be told from the children's perspectives and include information on how families can better manage their lives together.
Produced by Reveille LLC, Full Circle Entertainment and James Bruce Productions, Meet Mister Mom is executive produced by Ben Silverman, Robert Riesenberg and James Bruce.
Capping NBC's summer reality programming will be The Biggest Loser 2 and Tommy Lee Goes To College, both of which will premiere Tuesday, August 9. Kicking the night off at 8PM ET/PT with a 90-minute episode, the second season of The Biggest Loser will feature 14 new contestants competing in gender-divided red (female) and blue (male) teams.
As in its first season, The Biggest Loser 2's teams will be led by profession trainers Jillian Michael (red team) and Bob Harper (blue team), with weekly challenges, weigh-ins, and eliminations ultimately determining who will claim the title of "the biggest loser."
Produced by Reveille, 25/7 Productions, 3 Ball Productions and NBC Universal Television Studio, The Biggest Loser 2 is executive produced by Ben Silverman, Dave Broome, J.D. Roth, John Foy, and Todd A. Nelson
Following The Biggest Loser 2 at 9:30PM ET/PT, the half-hour Tommy Lee Goes To College will take a page from Rodney Dangerfield's 1986 Back to School film and follow notorious Motley Crue rocker Tommy Lee as he returns to school to get the college experience he never had. Despite being a 42-year-old twice divorced father of two, the fish-out-of-water Lee has enrolled at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where cameras will follow him as he deals with collegiate situations like finding a roommate, trying out for the marching band, and cramming for finals with Natalie, his hot tutor.
In an October 2004 letter to the school's faculty and staff, UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman attempted to explain why he decided to allow the show to film at his school. Stating that "we're satisfied that the show will not portray the university in a bad light," Perlman explained that "we believe the effort will be serious" and feature "a good message... with which the university can associate."
While recognizing that there were "some risks" to allowing the show to use his campus, Perlman felt that despite having previously "turned down a number of reality opportunities," "the potential for this exposure seemed worth the risk" -- although he also asked the faculty and staff to "join me in keeping your fingers crossed." In addition to stating that "the potential for our recruiting efforts was worth it," Perlman noted that the show's producers agreed to provide internship opportunities to some of the school's students and that Lee (who will be living off-campus) agreed to abide by the university's Student Code of Conduct while at UNL.
Distributed by NBC Universal Television Distribution, the six-episode Tommy Lee Goes To College is executive produced by Eddie October, BT, Richard Bishop, and Brad Wyman, co-executive-produced by Mike Nichols, and produced by Tommy Lee and Carl Stubner.