Levi Johnston to run for mayor in reality pitch
Levi Johnston's proposed reality show will chronicle his attempts to follow in Sarah Palin's footsteps -- running for mayor in Wasilla, Alaska.
Johnston is partnering with reality production veterans Stone and Co., which confirmed they are shooting a pilot with Johnston and pitching the concept to networks.
Titled "Loving Levi: The Road to the Mayor's Office," the show will have a three-pronged focus: Johnston vying for the mayor's office, being a father to Tripp (the child he has with Bristol Palin, with whom he recently split up with) and attempting to pursue a career in Hollywood.
"The more I think about it and look into it, I think there's a possibility we can make it happen," Johnston told Variety about his chances of winning. "It's something that I want to do … I lead a crazy life. But it will basically be both worlds, my life in Hollywood and back home, the real country boy that I am."
Johnston added that the mayoral run wasn't originally his idea, but pitched to him by producers Scott Stone and David Weintraub.
Johnston and Bristol have been looking into launching a reality show for months. With the couple split, re-focusing Johnston on a narrative-friendly goal like running for mayor make sense from a producing standpoint.
Networks tend to be surprisingly wary of tabloid figures shopping reality shows (the Octomom, for instance, never landed a series order despite months of press stories about shopping one). Yet the attractive Johnston should be able land a potential buyer or two, particularly among female-targeted cable networks.
One reality producer expects the show will land a buyer if Johnston has "any kind of personality."
"I can't imagine that he has enough celebrity on his own that people will tune it in," the producer added. "With a real celebrity, you can put them on TV doing boring stuff and it's interesting. But when it's not really a celebrity, they have to be doing something interesting. Maybe running for mayor is funny enough, and he could probably win because he has the name recognition. And then he'll be mayor of Wasilla. The world keeps getting weirder and weirder."
Another reality insider had a similar reaction: Johnston's personality is key.
"He's such a variable," the person said. "I have no clue what his personality is like. All I know is the name. The name recognition is there, so if they can put something together that backs it up and makes some compelling television, they can make a deal."
-- Kim Masters contributed to this report