Reality TV's Latest Successor to Anna Nicole: Pamela Anderson?
This is the thought that first crossed my mind amid news today that E! Entertainment has signed the pneumatic former Baywatch star to topline the kind of personality-based "reality" TV show that made a cultural icon -- and laughing stock -- of Anna Nicole Smith six years ago on E!.
It's a tough thing to remember in the wake of reality shows starring Gene Simmons, Kathy Griffin, Hulk Hogan, Danny Bonaduce, and Paula Abdul, but Anna Nicole was one of the first dysfunctional celebs to open her life to so-called "docu-drama" cameras back in 2002. Even as the show couldn't help but document her tenuous hold on reality, the series didn't show the cause; after her death last year from an overdose of more than eight different prescription drugs, you had to wonder where E!'s camera were.
Here's the press release. I suppose it's too much to hope that E! might have learned a few lessons since 2002....
E! ANNOUNCES DOCU-STYLE SERIES WITH SUPERSTAR PAMELA ANDERSON
"Pamela" (Working Title) Premieres Summer 2008 on E!
Los Angeles, CA, April 7, 2008 – E! Entertainment Television will debut an observational documentary series that goes inside the life of Pamela Anderson. A Hollywood icon and international megastar, Pam is one of the most recognizable women in the world. With the style and intimacy of a feature documentary, audiences will be pleasantly surprised to see the many dimensions of Pam. Produced by award-winning filmmakers World of Wonder Productions ("Inside Deep Throat," "The Eyes of Tammy Faye"), the half-hour series, "Pamela" (Working Title), will debut summer 2008 on E!
Pam is chaotic, funny and always entertaining. Viewers will get to know the real woman behind the famous breasts and follow Pam as she tries to juggle love, career and peace of mind. Going beyond the fame and fortune, this is Pam at her core, living her life with no regrets. The series will focus on Pam as an individual and will not feature her kids.
"Pamela Anderson is one of the most captivating personalities in pop culture today," said Lisa Berger, Executive Vice President, Original Programming and Series Development for E! "E!'s cameras capture Pam's fabulous adventures, emotional journey and all the surprises that come along the way. It's going to be a wild ride."
"'Pamela' will be an artistically rich and visually stunning series," said Randy Barbato, Managing Director, World of Wonder Productions. "The series will offer an unprecedented look inside the life of one of today's most iconic superstars in the style of a uniquely shot documentary film."
Pam first gained fame as the ultimate "Baywatch" beauty and "Playboy" cover girl. Her career quickly caught fire and she has become an international superstar model, actress and entrepreneur with a high-powered Hollywood resume and more magazine covers worldwide than any star of her generation. Pam continues to infatuate her legion of fans around the globe.
Executive Producers for the series are Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato and Tom Campbell for World of Wonder Productions, Jeff Pollack for Handprint Entertainment and Pamela Anderson. Acclaimed video and commercial director Nigel Dick is Co-Executive Producer.