‘New era’: Another reality show from Hollywood’s brat pack duo on its way

The Simple Life Best Bits (Season 2)

Source: Iconic2000s


In the early 2000s, Fox’s reality television producers took a chance on a couple of spoilt 20-something brats from posh Beverly Hills.

That punt turned them into international stars with a half-hour sitcom based on the original Green Acres TV show from 1965.

Friends Paris Hilton, of the famously wealthy Hilton Hotel family, and Nicole Richie, “notorious” daughter of singer Lionel Richie, left their day jobs by the pool, and signed on as BFFs to star in five seasons of The Simple Life.

The premise was the girls left behind their credit cards, designer clothes, parties and upmarket restaurant dinners to experience what it’s like to live and work as an ordinary American.

Audiences loved their “hilarious dialogue, saying things like ‘What does ‘generic’ mean?’ and pondering what happens at Walmart,” a Variety review mused in 2003.

There were a stack of fun unscripted moments, like when they had to pluck chickens, drive a pick-up truck or live with a working-class family from Arkansas for a month (Richie cheekily suggested they have a threesome with the son, which didn’t go well).

“They wanted to see stilettos in cow sh-t,” one studio executive said at the time.

Now, Hilton, 43, and Richie, 42, both with two children, have teased a forthcoming reality series on US streamer Peacock, posting an old-fashioned television set tuned to static on Instagram.

Through what sounds like horror-movie screams (Hilton won a Teen Choice award for Best Scream in 2005), scratchy audio of the two can be faintly heard repeatedly singing, “Sanasa, sanasa …” – a long-running inside joke from their show (so says Harper’s Bazaar).

A Simple Life reboot? That remains unclear.

“New Era. Same Besties. 👯‍♀️ Coming soon to Peacock,” the caption reads.

Whatever happened to the girls?

After three seasons of the show and 35 episodes, Hilton and Richie had a famous falling out in 2005.

Fox dropped the show, and with the pair contracted for another two series, it was picked up by rival network, E!, with the final episode going to air in 2007.

That year Richie found herself in court pleading guilty to driving under the influence of drugs.

She was sentenced to 90 hours in jail and fined $US2048 with three years’ probation.

A judge noted she was lucky nobody was killed when she drove the wrong way on a freeway.

She married singer Joel Madden, has had screen acting roles and launched fashion brand House of Harlow.

Hilton created a pop culture following, with documentaries, DJ appearances and making records, smaller budget TV series, and promoting fragrances, cosmetics and clothing on red carpet premieres for several years.

In an interview for Harper’s Bazaar’s March 2023 cover, Hilton said the producers wanted Richie to be the troublemaker and her the airhead.

“Everyone assumed that’s who I was in real life.”

Of the intense scrutiny she endured at the time of filming, she said “the way that I was treated – myself, Britney [Spears], Lindsay [Lohan], all of us – it was a sport … We were just young girls discovering life, going out to a party.

“And we were villainised for it.”

Fast forward to 2021, and Hilton and Richie were photographed together at Hilton’s wedding to American author Carter Reum, appearing to have rekindled their friendship.

In September Hilton posted a montage of photos of her and Richie, some of their time together on The Simple Life 20 years ago, holding what were then state-of-the-art mobile phones.

“No one makes me laugh the way you do, you are one of the most hilarious people on the planet. You are so much fun to be around,” she wrote.

“Can’t wait to make more memories together!”

As to what their new memories will be on camera?

Richie told Today‘s Hoda Kotb last month she and Hilton had spoken about the 20-year anniversary of the show.

“We actually spoke recently about the fact that it’s been 20 years and should we do something to celebrate it … we’re chatting about it”.

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