TV Article

'Life' Is Sweet

Fox mulls ''Simple Life'' sequel for Hilton and Richie. Wednesday's second episode harvested more ratings gold

Apparently, neither TV viewers nor Fox executives can see enough of exhibitionist-turned-reality star Paris Hilton. Wednesday's second episode of ''The Simple Life,'' featuring Hilton and pal Nicole Richie, proved an even bigger ratings winner than the show's premiere the night before. Now, reports the New York Daily News, Fox executives are pondering the possibilities of a follow-up for Hilton and Richie to the limited-run series.

''There is some discussion of that right now,'' Fox reality chief Mike Darnell told the Daily News, in light of the show's ''lightning in a bottle'' success. Wednesday's show, which saw the two socialites get fired from a dairy farm after one day on the job, drew 13.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen, up about 200,000 from Tuesday's premiere. Both episodes were their evening's most-watched show among viewers 18 to 49, according to Nielsen figures. ''It took off much more quickly than we imagined,'' Darnell said of the show. ''The ratings on Wednesday mean there was great word of mouth.''

Although Hilton's apparent ignorance of the existence of retail behemoth Wal-Mart, as revealed in the first episode, may supplant Jessica Simpson's Chicken of the Sea quandary as the dumb-blonde reality TV moment of the year, Darnell says Hilton and Richie ''both like the show very much, as did the whole [Hilton] family. They seem very, very happy with the show itself and how the girls come across.''

Which is good for Fox, which now must figure out how to keep the pair on the air, since there are only five more episodes of ''Simple Life.'' And other networks will be scrambling to create similar shows, one Fox exec predicts. ''I'm sure executives at the other networks are hearing pitches from producers saying, ''I can get Cher into a nunnery,'' Fox VP Preston Beckman tells the Daily News. ''You're going to see a lot of shows with celebrities put into weird situations.''

Originally posted Dec 05, 2003