Network to continue documentary probing links between swelling and retardation:
- “The Anna Nicole Show” will return to E! for a second season next year, the network said Thursday.
Despite condemnation from critics and a sharp decrease in viewers after its highly rated premiere, “Anna” emerged as a solid performer for the network. The rookie series, which offers a voyeuristic view of model Anna Nicole Smith’s life, averaged a 2.13 household rating and drove the network to record viewership among younger demos.
“The show was phenomenal for us,” E! executive vp entertainment Mark Sonnenberg said. “It has got people talking about the network.”
E! has ordered 13 episodes for the second season, which begins shooting next month and will start airing early next year. The series is expected to reunite all the major players from the debut season, including its zany, zaftig star, her attorney, her son and her psychologically fragile poodle, Sugarpie.
Smith is under contract with E! for four seasons, but no plans have been made beyond 2003. “For a lot of shows, the sophomore season becomes one of the stronger seasons,” Sonnenberg said. “We have expectations of that, too, and we’re making adjustments to ensure that.”
Sonnenberg would not elaborate on what the adjustments will be, but one major change to the production mandates that all 13 episodes are shot before the second-season premiere. During the first season, episodes began airing while the network was still gathering footage.
Remember, there is no “E!” in “class.”