Octomom reality show reports premature

No network signed on to carry Nadya Suleman series yet

In the latest twist in the Octomom saga, several media outlets reported Wednesday that Nadya Suleman has finally landed a reality TV show deal.

Except there was one problem: It wasn't true, at least not yet.

Suleman told Life & Style magazine that she'd signed a deal with U.K. production house Eyeworks.

"Yes, it is official," Suleman was quoted as saying. "I'm going to be doing a show, but it's not a reality show. What I'm doing with this TV show is basically creating documentaries about the lives of my children. ... It will air in the U.K. and then we'll see if the U.S. is interested."

But it wasn't official. No U.K. network has signed to carry the show.

And even Eyeworks said it didn't have a deal with her yet, though the parties are in talks.

"At this time we are in active negotiations with Nadya and her attorney for an unscripted format following the life of Nadya and her children," Eyeworks CEO Reinout Oerlemans said in a statement. "Nadya's story is a unique and exciting one that needs to be told in the right manner. ... We are confident that we are the right party to tell their story around the world."

Suleman became an overnight sensation in January by having only the second set of octuplets to be born alive in the U.S. Attention quickly turned negative when it was revealed she already had six children, was living on public assistance and had asked her fertility doctor to implant six embryos in her uterus (two split).

But the public interest in Suleman has not subsided. She became a tabloid fixture, her every move followed by the paparazzi. Her interviews on "Dateline" and "Dr. Phil" drew big ratings.

A reality show would seem to be a given, except networks have been more reluctant than many would assume.

TLC, which has cornered the oversized-family reality series market with its docusoaps "Jon and Kate Plus 8," "18 and Counting" and "Table for 12," was tempted to sign Suleman in February. Yet after meeting Suleman in person, the network backed out.

Other networks have been similarly put off by Suleman's motives for starting a family and her erratic behavior that has included an on-camera feud with her mom and the firing of around-the-clock free help she had received.

Though it's often assumed that the reality game is a total free-for-all, that any scandalized person can get their own show if they're famous enough, the business doesn't operate quite like that.

Suleman has been called the one major reproductive news scandal on which both liberals and conservatives can agree. But most networks see her as lousy for branding and a tough sell to advertisers.

"Please say, 'a Bravo spokesperson said we are not interested in this,' " a Bravo spokesperson said.

"It's not us," another cable network spokesperson said. "At least, I really hope it's not."
comments powered by Disqus