The airwaves are overloaded with reality TV shows, but on Jan. 7, executives from NBC announced that Ryan Lochte has been tapped to star in his own reality series. Many people wondered why, but the network defended its decision on Monday, stating that the Olympic gold medalist “was born to be on television every bit as much as he was born to swim.”
Lochte’s new reality TV series is called “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” and is set to premiere this spring on E!, a division of NBC. “Ryan Lochte captured everyone’s attention at the Summer Olympics with his athletic prowness and his utterly unique and unaffected approach to life,” E! Entertainment president Suzanne Kolb explained on Monday. “He is an incredibly endearing personality who is sexy, entertaining and fun. Watching this show, I believe people will fall into three categories: they want to be him, sleep with him or mother him.”
Ryan Lochte made a splash at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, especially when he defeated Michael Phelps to win the gold medal in the 400-meter individual medley. After his stunning victory, he proclaimed, “I’ve said this before. This is my year. I know. I feel it. I’ve trained my butt off for years. There’s no better way to start this Olympics off than getting gold.”
He went on to win an additional gold medal and made a lasting impression on legions of new fans. Afterward, he appeared on television on dozens of occasions, including an appearance on “Fashion Police,” where he stripped down for Joan Rivers. When the comedienne asked what the Olympian wears under his street clothes, Lochte proceeded to remove his pants, shirt, jacket, tie and socks to reveal a skintight black and red Speedo bathing suit. “What a good guest you are!” Rivers exclaimed. He also partied “Gangnam Style” with Korean rapper Psy, Kathy Griffin and Miley Cyrus at the 2012 iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas.
According to E! officials, Ryan Lochte is larger than life in “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” He lives life just like he swims ... all out and at top speed. In his new TV series, Lochte hits the local club scene frequently, and always with an eye out for the right girl, but is then up early the next morning for rigorous training with his tough-as-nails coach, Gregg Troy. He shows off his huge collection of shoes – more than 150 pairs of sneakers, including the bright green high-tops he designed that have Ryan emblazoned in the sole of one and Lochte in the other – and gives viewers a look at the diamond-encrusted watch he designed that is valued at more than a quarter of a million dollars.
Peppered throughout the show are those unpredictable, unfiltered and delightfully uninhibited "Lochteisms" for which he has already become legend. For example, on his regular swimming ritual: “I always pee in the pool … doesn’t everyone?”
Ryan’s mother plays a big role on “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” After transitioning from the ultimate swim mom to life coach, she keeps the champ grounded, as do his two older sisters. Plus, his younger brother, Devon, who’s also Ryan’s roommate, plays a role on the new series.
“What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” is set to chronicle Ryan’s life as he prepares for the 2016 Olympics, while building his fashion line and making buzz worthy public appearances. According to network officials, viewers will get an inside peek at the unpredictable and offbeat life of the breakout star from the 2012 Summer Games as he looks for love and grows his empire.
What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” is a production of Intuitive Entertainment, whose credits include “Millionaire Matchmaker” on Bravo and “Pit Boss” on Animal Planet.
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