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A&E bringing a ‘proper’ rap icon to reality TV

In the vein of such celebrity family reality shows as The Osbournes and following in the spirit of the popular series Gene Simmons' Family Jewels, A&E expects to air a new reality show covering the daily life of another musical celebrity... M.C. Hammer.
February 23, 2009

In the vein of such celebrity family reality shows as The Osbournes and following in the spirit of the popular series Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels, A&E expects to air a new reality show covering the daily life of another musical celebrity… M.C. Hammer.

According to A&E non-fiction programming SVP Rob Sharenow, instead of peering into the family life of a hard rock or heavy metal artist, the cable network will air a series featuring a candid look at the day-to-day life of the rapper, who enjoyed his peak musical success in the early ’90s.

‘M.C. Hammer is an icon for his music, dance and style,’ Sharenow said. ‘But on this show we are really going to be focusing on him and his family.’

The brainchild of programming director Stephen Harris, who works under VP of non-fiction/alternative programming Scott Lonker, the series has begun shooting after being in development for nearly a year. With Lonker’s help, JD Roth and 3ball Productions were brought in to produce the series.

According to Sharenow, Harris was in touch with M.C. Hammer and his wife, and had been courting the rapper for some time to bring the family onboard for an A&E series. After several tenacious efforts, Harris persuaded the Hammers to open their home and their personal lives to camera crews so that television audiences can follow the daily events of their household.

Entitled Hammertime, the series will, according to Sharenow, introduce viewers to M.C. Hammer as ‘an incredible dad.’ He also added that the series will show that Hammer and his wife and children face ‘the same ups and downs of a typical American family.’

Sharenow confirmed that there are plans to air the series later this year, but said that no definite airdate is scheduled as of yet. ‘But it would fit well with Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels – another extraordinary celebrity family,’ he offered.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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