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Ryan Seacrest and Andrew Glassman talk about 'Momma's Boys'


By John Bracchitta, 12/15/2008 

The concept for Momma's Boys, NBC's newest reality show, is clearly something near and dear to show producer Ryan Seacrest's heart. Just ask Seacrest what his mother looks for in the women he dates.

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"[She would like] one that was under her spell. One that was under her control," Seacrest told reporters during a media conference call along with fellow Momma's Boys executive producer Andrew Glassman last week. "I tend to like girls who are a bit more probably provocative than my mother would approve of. So she would definitely want the one that continues to go to church every Sunday. I might want the one that skips every Sunday."

"I am really close to my mom, and she’s part of the decision-making process, whether it be personal or professional," he added later. "I don't put her in the passenger seat when I'm out with a girl [though]."

According to Seacrest and Glassman, friction and difference of opinion will fuel the action in Momma's Boys, which features three mothers and son teams as they move in with 32 single women made up of both "nice" and "bad" girls. Throughout the show's six episodes, the men narrow down the woman to their match as their mothers look on and lend their own opinions about what would be best for them.

Seacrest told reporters that it was easy to tell when the behavior of the mothers chosen to appear on the show with their sons began changing after being forced to share their child's attention with the single women inhabiting the house.

"The mothers -- who for the most part are sweet and loving of their sons -- they had good intentions, and then that clearly shifted once you got a chance to see them in this environment together," Seacrest told reporters. "These are moms that are clearly obsessed with control when it comes to their sons' lives, and women certainly play a major part in that process for them. So they did not hide their feelings once they got in the middle of all these girls."

Seacrest -- who admits to being a bit of a "momma's boy" himself -- also noted that the group of sons participating on the show certainly fit the part well.

"I don't think the guys [on the show] could exist without their mothers within ten yards. The guys are great guys. I mean they're handsome. They are focused guys, They're driven guys. But they do have a crutch and that is relying on their moms for laundry, for cooking, for room and board," Seacrest told reporters. "I think that at some places they would've wished that their moms weren't watching over their shoulders as they were getting into a hot tub with the girl because the guys are certainly there to conduct themselves as their mothers would want."

"Then once the sun goes down they want to conduct themselves as those girls would want," he added.

Glassman and Seacrest both also admitted that they were consistently shocked by the behavior of Khalood Bojanowski, a 50-year-old-Iraqi-Catholic woman who has already made headlines for making numerous racist and anti-semetic comments about the women her son met on the show.  Bojanowski has reportedly gone so far as to request police protection at her home following the show's December 16 premiere.

"When we saw that audition tape, I thought this is the reality TV’s answer to Archie Bunker. She is just bigoted," Glassman told reporters of Bojanowski. "I don't think she has hate in her heart, but she has a closed mind and a way of offending people and that’s really hurtful."

However according to the producers, they were also pleased with how Momma's Boys other participants -- including her son -- dealt with Bojanowski's comments.

"The show is really about a younger generation, including her own kid who completely disagrees with her and handles this by making her eat her words over and over again," Glassman said.

"I mean that's kind of the beauty of it is that she comes in with this sense of entitlement and this narrow point of view, and my generation -- and the generation that is her son and these girls -- pummels her, Seacrest added. "I mean they put her in her place over and over, and over again. And as a viewer and as a producer, you almost root for it."

Glassman also told reporters one of the more interesting aspects of Momma's Boys was the genuine emotion -- good or bad -- the mothers showed due of their strong bonds with their sons.

"I would just say that what makes this show different is that a mother’s love for her child is one of the most powerful, sweet dynamic forces in our world, hands down," Glassman told reporters. "So I think that makes the story different and relatable to everyone. The emotions that you're going to see, the outbursts, the joy and the stakes in this show are very high and very real."

According to Glassman and Seacrest, Momma's Boys will also be a bit wilder than your typical broadcast network reality dating show.

"We wanted to incorporate more cable sensibilities into the things that we would actually incorporate into this show," Seacrest told reporters. "I mean obviously it’s a big-budget network show, but [it will have] some of the craziness and some of the loudness you would generally see on a cable show. But it is on this network show."

"There are a lot of characters on this show who would have been rejected on a network show, you know, a couple years past," Glassman added. And by the way - they're young people. This is a group of people that have been raised watching those shows on MTV and VH1. They're accustomed to that kind of behavior. So when they're in there fighting for the guy that they've fallen for, you know, they're not shy about it."

However, Seacrest told reporters that, despite some wild behavior and bigoted comments, Momma's Boys is still about loving mothers and sons working together and seeking to find a connection with someone else.

"There are plenty of funny moments along the way, there’s plenty of intense moments along the way. But it’s a -- it truly is and it sounds corny to say it, but it truly is a loud love story," Seacrest said.

Momma's Boys will premiere on December 16 at 10PM ET/PT on NBC following the two-hour season finale of The Biggest Loser: Families.

(Photo credit NBC)


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