U.S. cable network WE tv’s popular marriage counselling format Marriage Boot Camp will premiere its new edition tonight, the first time the franchise finds itself on the network’s Thursday lineup.
Marriage Boot Camp follows couples, living together under one roof during production, working with relationship counselors Dr. Venus Nicolino and Dr. Ish Major, and Divorce Court judge Lynn Toler to eventually decide whether it’s all worth it.
The new version features famous couples selected from hip hop royalty, including cast members of VH1′s Love & Hip Hop. Featured couples will include Soulja Boy and Nia Riley; Waka Flocka (pictured, left) and wife Tammy Rivera (right), Lil’ Mo and her husband, boxer Karl Dargan; Jessica Dime and her fiancé, professional basketball player Shawne Williams; and Lil’ Fizz of B2K and Tiffany Campbell.
Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition is produced by Thinkfactory Media, an ITV America company. Adam Reed, Adam Freeman, Erin Richards, Antonia Mattia and Leslie Greif serve as EPs, with Lauren P. Gellert and Angela Molloy executive producing for WE tv.
This new edition will follow the path of earlier versions, with some important distinctions. “In putting together the houses for earlier seasons, we were always looking for a very diverse group of people, making sure everyone had a different story, had a different journey, a different experience,” Freeman tells realscreen. “Then we just started thinking, over the last couple of years, what would happen if we put people in the house that had a lot in common? What would they learn from each other?”
Another important difference from previous Boot Camp iterations is scheduling. The Hip Hop Edition will air on Thursdays, unlike the Friday-night slot of other versions. “The network is, for the Hip Hop Edition, putting us on Thursday nights, which have a slightly different audience, making it part of WE tv’s hip hop evening of programming. I think there’ll be a lot of new eyes,” Freeman says.
While Freeman says that Marriage Boot Camp tends to trade in fairly universal experiences and challenges, the new season’s participants were particularly open to the process, offering rare glimpses into their lives that may feel new to their fans. “There are a bunch of bombs that are dropped that fans of this cast have never heard or witnessed or knew about, whether from their old shows, from their music careers. There are things that come to light that nobody saw coming,” he says.
“What I’m most excited about with the Hip Hop house is nobody was guarded,” he adds. “This group of reality stars brought it 100% every day. They were all just open, really intelligent, really insightful, and just good people. I don’t know how else to say it.”
In one of Freeman’s favorite moments, that unguarded disposition leads to some challenging behavior: “There is one person in the house that gets caught trying to make a booty call from within the house, and we have cameras everywhere, so that gets brought to light.” Freeman wouldn’t say who he was referring to, for fear of spoiling part of the season.
Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition premieres tonight (Jan. 10) at 10 p.m. ET/PT on WE tv.
Watch an exclusive clip below: