Staff writer Sheon Ladson loves Tori Spelling. So we thought, who better to sit in on a "Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood" conference call.
The two were talking because the new season of the Oxygen show start tonight at 10.
Here's Sheon's report:
Reality television can be hard on a family, but Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott say they aren’t worried.
The stars of the Oxygen network show “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” say, if anything, being under the constant glare of cameras is bringing them closer.
“Essentially, the show is a way to keep our family together,” Spelling said during a phone interview last week to promote the new season. “We do everything together. We travel together; we really like being together. So the show is a nice way to show the fans what real life is like for us.”
McDermott said he didn’t even know about what’s called the reality-show curse when he and Spelling agreed to do the first season of their show. That “curse” has led to many celebrity marriages breaking down as audiences tune in to watch the train wreck. Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, Hulk and Linda Hogan, Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, and lately, Jon and Kate Gosselin of TLC’s “Jon & Kate Plus 8” have seen what letting America watch can do to a marriage.
“I don’t buy it,” McDermott said. “Everyone’s different, and it’s unfortunate that it’s happening to other couples. I don’t think it’s going to happen to us.”
Speaking of “Jon & Kate,” does the couple have any advice to offer. “No,” they answered quickly, in unison. “People cannot comment on a situation when they have no real fact about it,” McDermott said.
“That’s the problem with this kind of show,” Spelling chimed in. “You have no way of knowing what’s really happening with a family. Only they know what the truth is.”
“I love their show, though,” Spelling said.
Randy Barbato, an Emmy-winning documentarian and executive producer of the show, says reality is what sets “Tori & Dean” apart. The couple are juggling Hollywood, their careers and their two children, Liam Aaron, 2, and Stella Doreen, 9 months. McDermott has a son from a previous relationship.
“Very few reality shows spend as much time as we do filming,” Barbato said. “Many shows produce the reality. We really just hang out with these guys and go wherever they do. As a result, there are these moments of reality that we capture.”
The camera men who follow the couple typically film many days' worth of their lives for each show, Barbato said, so there are lots of scenes to choose from.
“Going further,” Spelling said, “we talk about our worries, our fears. I feel like a lot of shows, they don’t want to show that reality. I’m not afraid to show who I am.”
Spelling’s father is the late Aaron Spelling, who wrote, produced or created hundreds of TV shows and movies, including “Charlie’s Angels.”
Growing up in that lifestyle, Spelling said, people assumed things about her family; she said she wishes reality TV had been around back then. She might have been interested in being on one, just to set the record straight.
"My dad loved television and he loved scripts," she said. "I would watch him for hours while he did his work. So because of that, I'm able to do [TV] from the standpoint of a fanatical TV fan. I'm able to come up with ideas that someone who loves TV would want to see."
The couple has had a string of ventures, including running an inn in their first season, attempting to start a gourmet french fry business, and they’re now producing a pilot show with a makeover format.
Spelling is also wrote the New York Times best-seller “sTori Telling,” and the follow-up “Mommywood.” And she is developing a children’s clothing line, Little Maven, and sells her “Tori Spelling Collection” jewelry line through HSN shopping network.