Whitney Houston’s family lands Lifetime reality show
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Three months to the day after Whitney Houston’s untimely death, Lifetime has announced it has ordered a reality show anchored by the late pop titan’s family.
“The Houston Family Chronicles,” set to premiere later this year, will follow “those closest to the pop music icon as they try to pick up the pieces after her untimely death,” according to the network’s description of the series.
The 10 hour-long episodes are focused on Whitney’s manager, sister-in-law and closest confidant Pat Houston, Whitney’s brother Gary and the couple’s teenage daughter Rayah.
PHOTOS: Whitney Houston | 1963 - 2012
Houston’s only daughter, Bobbi Kristina, and her mother, Cissy Houston, will also appear on the show. Lifetime says the series will show Pat and Gary as they “take on their greatest challenge, supporting and guiding Bobbi Kristina as she faces the world alone, without the one person she relied on the most, her Mother.”
“A mother to her own teenage daughter, Rayah, Pat understands the difficulty of raising a young woman in a world where social media and peer pressure are the norm. As she tries to guide her own daughter into womanhood, Pat also has the responsibility of raising Bobbi Kristina, who, while trying to move forward with life and make decisions about her future, must also learn to cope with such a devastating loss,” the show’s description reads.
“With the certainty of a microscopic lens focused on this young woman and her every move, Pat, Gary and their tight-knit group of family and friends are committed to seeing that Bobbi Kristina can grow and experience life unscathed.”
Pat Houston released a statement confirming the project was in the works before Whitney’s passing, however the idea of the family stepping in front the cameras in the wake of her death might not sit well with fans.
“I have been working with [producers] Simmons-Shelley over the past few years developing a project suitable for myself and our family,” Pat Houston said in a statement. “The unexpected passing of Whitney certainly affects the direction of the show. However, it is my hope that others will be enlightened as they watch our family heal and move forward.” The pop star died of a combination of heart trouble and cocaine ingestion and was discovered in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton hours before mentor Clive Davis’ annual Pre-Grammy Gala, on the eve of the Grammys. She was 48.
Bobbi Kristina, though the subject of numerous headlines, has largely gone unseen since her mother’s passing. Along with Pat and Gary she sat down for an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, which drew OWN’s largest audience ever.
Whitney’s closest friends, cousin Dionne Warwick and gospel legend CeCe Winans, will appear on the show as they help Pat with Bobbi Kristina.
“The tragic loss of Whitney Houston left a void in the hearts of people all over the world, but certainly none more so than her beloved family,” said Rob Sharenow, executive vice president, programming, of Lifetime Networks, in a statement. “In this series, the multi-generations of the Houston family will bravely reveal their lives as they bond together to heal, love, and grow.”
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-- Gerrick D. Kennedy