The most famous famewhores of all time, Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag, are launching their comeback. The reality TV supervillains, best known from their turns as Lauren Conrad’s archrivals on The Hills, have remained pretty quiet after their short stint on Big Brother in the U.K. earlier this year. But now, they’re trying to relaunch their careers with another foray into the reality genre, this time with a self-produced web series called SpeidiShow.
Each episode has the couple trying out a different reality show format, i.e. living in Europe on $0 a day and helping out with a wedding.
It’s a rebranding strategy perfect for a full-scale return to popularity. The only problem is that it’s not real and they’ve never shot a single scene.
Although the show’s website posts previews and recaps for each episode, there’s no actual production of a web series. It’s part of something called a netprov (network improve narrative), which is equal parts elaborate internet hoax, improvisational comedy, and performance art. Writers Mark C. Marino and Rob Wittig are the masterminds behind the project.
Marino confirmed to BuzzFeed in a phone interview that SpeidiShow is indeed a part of netprov and that there is no actual show being produced here. As their site says, “SpeidiShow is Twitter buzz about an imaginary TV Show.”
“Netprov basically extends what ‘reality stars’ do all the time — only it allows the fans to help tell the story,” Pratt told BuzzFeed via email.
Marino said the goal with SpeidiShow is to involve fans in on the shaping of the series. Simply put, what people tweet will determine what happens on the show.
But it doesn’t seem that many people have caught on to the experiment yet. The fact that there’s no show to cover didn’t stop MTV’s Remote Control blog from posting a review of the series, including details of what happened in its nonexistent third episode. (MTV did not return BuzzFeed’s request for comment.) Pratt has posted several retweets from fans saying that they love the new show, including a message from his sister and former Hills co-star Stephanie.
It’s an interesting commentary on the live-tweeting experience. If everyone is talking about the same show at the same time on their second screens, does the audience actually need a show to talk about in the first place?
“People are used to watching things together and tweeting about where an imaginary ball goes. With this, you’ve got to pay attention to where the ball is and be ready to catch it,” Marino said.
Pratt took it one step further: “No one seems to know what to do with Twitter other than make fools of themselves. Why not play with it?”
This isn’t the first time Pratt has worked with Marino and Wittig, whom he met during an advanced writing seminar at the University of Southern California. They teamed up earlier this year when the recurring reality star gave the netprov creators control of his Twitter account, filling Pratt’s timeline with witty turns of phrase and impressive insights on English poetry. That time, fans realized what was going on and played along with the character they named Tempspence, some even made Twitter poetry of their own.
Pratt wrote to BuzzFeed that he and Montag believe netprov is the “future of entertainment.”
“If people want a SpeidiShow that badly, they’ll see it,” Pratt noted. “It’s like Snuffleupagus or Shangri La. We can see it, can’t you?”