From royalty to reality: Lifetime has picked up a nonscripted pilot chronicling the exploits of thesp LisaRaye McCoy-Misick as she adapts to life as the first lady of Turks and Caicos Islands, a British overseas territory in the West Indies.
“The Premier and I,” from Warner Horizon, will shoot in November. Pilot will take a comedic, “I Love Lucy”-esque look at the relationship between McCoy-Misick — an actress who appeared in the UPN laffer “All of Us” and the feature “Beauty Shop” — and her husband of 17 months, Turks and Caicos Premier Michael Misick.
“They’re amazing — I’ve never seen something like this in reality,” says Jessica Samet, senior VP of reality programming at Lifetime. “They’re completely different people, and she has an unbelievably dynamic personality, while he’s reserved. They’re polar opposites.”
Greg Johnston (“The Osbournes,” “Newlyweds”) is set to exec produce and act as showrunner.
Much of the project will center on the natural conflicts that rise out of such different personalities, Samet said. Then there’s also the fish-out-of-water aspect of McCoy-Misick trying to figure out her new role as the wife of a head of state, as well as the lavish, exotic setting.
“Clearly, the Turks and Caicos is a beautiful place to shoot,” Samet said. “It’s a voyeuristic look at the lifestyles of the rich and famous, as well.”
Misick recently turned heads by purchasing a pricey, back-cover ad in Variety to wish McCoy-Misick a happy birthday; he also threw a gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel in her honor.
Lifetime has been looking to expand its reality stable; in the case of “Premier,” Samet said the cabler is “putting a lot of eggs in this basket.” Net is about to premiere the second season of “Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead,” to be paired with the new entry “America’s Psychic Challenge.”
“We’re coming into our own in reality,” Samet said. “Now, we wanted to go down the docusoap road. It’s new and different, and we haven’t seen it on Lifetime.”