Todd Chrisley on His Late-Night Pilot, 'Chrisley Knows Best': "There's a Lot of Change Ahead"

"The show is going to be funny but at the same time, addressing issues that people have in their everyday life," the reality star says of his late-night pilot at USA.
USA Network

Todd Chrisley isn't afraid to tell it like it is — even when it comes to his own family.

"I am very good at multitasking — now, all of my family members are not," Chrisley tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Three of them are genetically predisposed to their mother, Julie, who I say at times doesn't know whether to scratch her watch or wind her ass."

It's exactly this kind of candor that has put Chrisley's multitasking skills to good use. He is currently busy filming his family's hit reality show, which returns for season three on Tuesday, while also working on a late-night talk show and a spinoff, both for USA. "They continue to show huge amounts of faith in our abilities and for that we are grateful," says Chrisley. "I truly believe that the late-night talk show will allow me to have a more uncensored voice toward issues that I want to address."

Although Chrisley is entering an increasingly competitive field that includes not only network stalwarts like The Tonight Show and Late Show, but also cable favorites like The Daily Show and Watch What Happens Live!, the unapologetic Atlanta millionaire says he has something unique to offer. "The show is going to be funny but at the same time, addressing issues that people have in their everyday life," says Chrisley. "It's not going to be your typical 'Let's have every celebrity that's out there come and sit on the sofa with Todd.' It's going to be about people who are going through things in their life presently, whether that be a celebrity or what have you. It's not going to be just fluff."

When asked specifically about how he'll stand apart from other late-night hosts like, say, Netflix's incoming talk show heiress Chelsea Handler, Chrisley is, again, straightforward. "We're both very in-your-face with who we are and what our belief system is," says Chrisley. "I'd like to think I'm a little more polite when I tell you to 'ef off."

Although the pilot is set to shoot in Los Angeles, he has been heavily involved from his Atlanta home base thanks to email and Skype. "[Embassy Row] has been wonderful about listening to everything that I say and incorporating it into the show," says Chrisley.

And it's not just the Chrisley patriarch reaping the benefits of the spotlight. His children Savannah Chrisley and Chase Chrisley will be the center of a possible new spinoff that is currently in development. The project will focus on the duo as they head off to college and leave home for the first time. Despite his busy schedule, Todd says he'll make appearances as well, should it go to series. "Listen, my children will never be so far away that Todd will not be present," he says with a laugh. "I can assure you that I will be popping in quite frequently."

In the meantime, Todd is enjoying having his children under his roof. When asked about what's ahead in season three, he says, "I'm looking forward to some of the things Chase and Savannah have gotten away with that I'm not aware of yet."

Suffice it to say, it's a momentous time for the Chrisley clan. "There's a lot of change in the third season," says Todd. "It's all good but it takes me awhile to accept it."

With the family's increased popularity and screen time has also come increased media scrutiny. "I've raised my children their entire life with a very clear understanding of a simple rule and that is: Someone else's opinion of you is not your business," says Todd.

However, it has been the toughest for Todd, who has weathered negative headlines about his finances, his first marriage and his sexuality. "We don't run from the truth whatever the situation is, but with that being said, [journalists] don't always get the facts straight," says Todd. "You have journalists out there that want to sensationalize a situation because it sells magazines, and I can tell you that 90 percent of some of the stories that were written were so overly exaggerated and sensationalized that it caused me to pause and say, 'Does this really happen?'"

In the year since Chrisley Knows Best's debut, Todd says he's come out the other side with thicker skin. "I was trained by lessons of hard knocks that the more you put gas on a fire, the higher the flame gets. And guess what? No one gives a shit that I filed bankruptcy anymore," says Todd. "No one's writing about whether I'm gay anymore. ... Now people have just given up on it."

In the end for Todd, the benefits of stardom still outweigh the negatives. "I'm so sick of saying how blessed we are because I think people are getting sick of hearing me say how blessed we are," he says, "but people still have interest. They still want to have the conversations, they still want to watch the show."

Chrisley Knows Best's new season premieres on Tuesday at 9 p.m. on USA.

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