Musicians are happy to open their doors to TV cameras whenever they have a new project to pimp. Reality shows have become a standard part of the promo package, but sometimes they backfire spectacularly by making the star look like a pee drinking, tuna befuddled, shrieking, unhinged loon. Think we’re exaggerating? Think again.
And yet many networks are drawn to the idea, because train-wrecks make for hilarious viewing and great ratings. BET recently entertained the idea of a Chris Brown reality show centered on his life following release from jail. Despite the fact that his new album X is set for release later this year, Team Breezy shot down BET’s hopes of this show ever happening. Maybe they remember watching some of these other music-centric reality shows that portrayed the artist in a not-so-great light.
Name: Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica
Air Dates: August 19th, 2003 – March 30th, 2005
Outcome: The reality show followed Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson in their first few years of marriage. A few months after the show wrapped, the pair were headed to Splitsville. But hey, at least she learned to correctly identify tuna.
Name: The Ashlee Simpson Show
Air Dates: June 16th, 2004 – March 30th 2005
Outcome: Ashlee’s show chronicled the recording of her debut disc, Autobiography, which was released in 2004. Even though the first album was met with much success, sales for subsequent albums took a nose dive. Despite having her own show, Ashlee’s most unforgettable television moment occurred on Saturday Night Live, during her her infamous lip-synching incident on October 25th, 2004.
Name: Britney and Kevin: Chaotic
Air Dates: May 17th, 2005 – June 14th, 2005
Outcome: The show was comprised of various videos recorded during Britney Spears’ Onyx Hotel tour, chronicling her love affair with backup-dancer-turned-husband, Kevin Federline. Britney later admitted the same thing we were all thinking: “That was probably the worst decision I’ve ever done in my career.”
Name: Being Bobby Brown
Air Dates: June 30th, 2005 – December 1st, 2005
Outcome: The show depicted the life of singer Bobby Brown and his tumultuous marriage with his then wife, Whitney Houston. The late diva (wisely) refused to do a second season and the show was finished after 11 episodes. A year after the Being Bobby Brown was canceled, Whitney filed for divorce. This show wasn’t his best look, but it provided the world with this priceless soundbite.
Name: Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is
Air Dates: July 12th, 2006 – December 30th, 2008
Outcome: Bearing the same name as her debut album, the show documented Keyshia’s personal struggles and re-connection with her estranged family. Although it was BET’s number one rated show at the time, the exposure didn’t catapult her to mainstream success.
Name: Flavor of Love
Air Dates: January 1st, 2006 – May 19th, 2008
Outcome: A member of hip-hop group Public Enemy, Flavor of Love was a dating show where women competed for Flav’s heart. The show’s success wasn’t enough to keep him from running into trouble with the law on numerous occasions. Guess he missed the love on this one.
Name: Hey Paula
Air dates: June 28th, 2007 – July 27th, 2007
Outcome: The show followed the personal and professional life of Paula Abdul, juggling her American Idol gig along with other projects including promoting her new fragrance line. The show was canceled after one season because Abdul didn’t like how she was portrayed.
Name: Fantasia For RealAir Dates: January 11th 2010 – November 28th, 2010
Outcome: The show followed the American Idol singer through her personal and professional struggles as she tried to regain control of both. Her affair with a married man didn’t necessarily help her image.
Name: Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business
Air Dates: April 11th, 2010 – February 27th, 2011
Outcome: The series followed the brother/sister duo and the struggles of their family business. Brandy sought to forward her acting and music career while Ray J apparently kept holding onto the fact that he “hit it first,” an obvious reference to his sex tape with Kim Kardashian. Despite the connection with reality royalty, the glow didn’t transfer to the Norwoods and the show failed to revive their careers.
Name: Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life
Air Dates: April 23rd, 2013 – December 18th, 2013
Outcome: Filmed by her brother, the show gave viewers unprecedented access to the personal and professional life of the singer over the course of two years. It followed her through her Get Sleazy tour, the creation of her second album Warrior, and even drinking her own pee. The fate of the show is unknown. Is that an omen?