E! busts out with bio series

Cabler's skein to focus on model-widow Smith

From aging rocker to embattled Playmate: The first new cable bio series to follow MTV’s hit “The Osbournes” will center on Anna Nicole Smith.

E! Networks has greenlit a weekly half-hour reality-based series featuring the life of the model-widow for a late July or early August debut on the basic cabler. “The Anna Nicole Smith Show” likely will air in a 10 p.m. slot on a to-be-determined night.

E! exec VP of entertainment Mark Sonnenberg told Daily Variety that the genesis of the project started with an edition of “True Hollywood Story” featuring Smith that has continued to generate ratings success after several repeats. E! at first considered a “THS” spinoff series based on the success of the Smith edition, and opted instead to pursue a project based purely on Smith’s life. “The Osbournes’ ” success gave the net more confidence in that direction.

“No one will ever believe it, but we started thinking about this project before ‘The Osbournes’ hit. Obviously when that show came in, ours became a much better idea to us,” Sonnenberg said.

Series will follow Smith, her teenage son, her attorney and her assistant in their not-so-everyday Los Angeles-based life.

“Five minutes of life through the eyes of Anna Nicole is more fascinating than an entire lifetime for some people,” Sonnenberg added. “She packs a lot in.”