The same day Lifetime’s Bristol Palin docu-soap reality series premiered, Kyle Massey, his brother, and mother have sued the producers, saying that the show was their idea, and they got shut out at the last minute.
When Lifetime’s cable cousin BIO originally announced its Bristol Palin docu-soap last year, it was actually a reality show about Bristol moving from Alaska into the home of actors Kyle and Christopher Massey — Kyle and Bristol having become BFFs while they were both contestants on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” (BIO and Lifetime are both owned by A&E Television Networks.)
That show never materialized. And in February, Lifetime announced it would do a reality series with Bristol and her son, Tripp, only — nary a Massey in sight — called “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp,” and with the same production company, Associated Television International.
In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles, Kyle and Christopher Massey and their mother claim they came up with the original show idea, in which Bristol and Tripp would live with the Masseys while Bristol worked at a small charity in Los Angeles. Now, the Lifetime series shows Bristol, Tripp, and her younger sister Willow moving to L.A. into a McMansion, but only briefly, and will return to Wasilla, Alaska. At the end of the premiere, Willow had already packed her bags and left — and scenes Lifetime showed from the upcoming season took place primarily in Alaska with the whole Palin family. Bristol and Tripp will move back by episode three, according to entertainment Web site Deadline.com, citing a report about the lawsuit that first appeared on TMZ.
While shooting the original show that would co-star the Masseys, press reports got out about an incident where a guy got into a screaming match with Bristol at a bar, calling her mom a woman of ill repute, and Bristol responded by asking him whether he was “a homosexual?” The scene appeared in Tuesday night’s premiere. At the time, reports said Kyle was unhappy about the direction of the show, and that it was being scrapped — which BIO denied.
Originally, the show was going to be called “Bristol-ogy 101,” TMZ reported.