EXCLUSIVE: Bret Michaels' new reality show

Premiering Oct. 18, VH1's 'Life As I Know It' gives toned down, post-health scare look at Poison frontman's family life.

Bret Michaels promised nothin' but a good time with his 2007 reality show debut, "Rock of Love," and landed a hit for VH1 for three seasons. He put the brakes on the final season's "Rock of Love Bus" last year.

On October 18, Michaels returns to VH1 with a new reality show, "Life As I Know It." But this time, rather than tip back bottles of champagne and keep the Jacuzzi bubbling all night with a houseful of scantily clad rocker babes, the new show's focus is on only three young ladies: longtime girlfriend Kristi Lynn Gibson and their two daughters, Raine and Jorja. However, tempting groupies are never far from the scene.

The tension of trying to stay grounded around groupies while maintaining a relatively normal family life and healthier lifestyle provides the set up for the show. Beset with various recent health issues, in addition to living with Type 1 diabetes, Michaels strives to make up for lost time by finally confronting the longtime lingering marriage issue with Gibson, with whom he has maintained a 16-year on-again, off-again relationship.
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The 47-year-old musician's decidedly more mature turn in direction for his latest reality venture comes after the Poison frontman suffered an appendectomy and brain hemorrhage earlier this year. "My brain blew up sitting on my couch," he recounts in "Life's" debut episode. Successively, doctors discovered a hole in his heart. (Despite the setback, last May he was the winning contestant on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice 3.")

"When your burnin' that candle at both ends and you're runnin' at 200 miles an hour, you either slow that car down or your gonna crash," he laments in "Life," which he recently described to the New York Post as "the reality version of 'Modern Family.' "

In "Life's" Oct. 18 premiere episode, Michaels spins the tragic turn of events from the last couple months into light humor that provides a safe way of addressing his health concerns with his two young children, succumbing to a well-aimed Nerf-sword jab to the heart with the quip, "Now, I got a second hole in my heart." The scene leads to a candid chat with his daughters about how he's handling his health issues.

"Bret is family to us and has always been a huge hit on the network, headlining several series and specials that have garnered record-breaking ratings and made a strong connection with our audience," said Jeff Olde, VH1's executive vp of original programming. "If anyone can fight off illness and get back on his feet, it's Bret."

In addition to "Life As I Know It," Michaels, who undergoes another surgery in January for his heart condition, will continue to live life in the public eye with a book tour following the release of his autobiography, "Roses & Thorns: The Reality of My Rock & Roll Fantasy," in March.

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