Palin soap opera carries on with Bristol's 'reality TV' wedding

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The Independent US

The first time they got engaged, Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston celebrated on stage at the Republican National Convention. The second time, two soap-opera years later, they announced the news by selling an "exclusive" to a supermarket magazine. Now the happy couple plan to turn their forthcoming wedding into a television show.

The duo's split after the birth of their baby, Tripp, was noted for acrimonious media spats between Mr Johnston and Sarah Palin – Bristol's mother and former vice-presidential wannabe.

The couple informed friends and family of their surprise reconciliation last week, telling Us Weekly that getting engaged had just "felt right".

Yet even as the magazine hit news-stands, a sub-plot was brewing. The couple's representatives were reported to be in Los Angeles, touring TV networks to drum up interest in "multiple reality shows". The mooted fly-on-the-wall programmes would revolve around the daily lives of Mr Johnston, 20, Ms Palin – who, at 19, has already done the chat-show circuit and dabbled in acting – and Tripp, now two. Various formats are being touted that "focus on parenting issues", says The Hollywood Reporter.

Back when Sarah Palin was running for vice-president, the idea of intimate details of her family being beamed into America's living rooms would have seemed unlikely. But times change; now she is a commentator for Fox News and is making a documentary series, Sarah Palin's Alaska, for cable network TLC.

But even if a network buys into a Bristol-Levi reality show, there's the sticky question of whether the couple's families would agree to appear, and if so, what they would ask to be paid. The Palin family's reaction to the engagement was barely lukewarm, which was perhaps understandable given that Mr Johnston, during his split from Bristol, gave several interviews that portrayed them in a negative light.

Mr Johnston is estranged from his own mother, Sherry, who nevertheless says she "would be absolutely devastated" if she weren't invited to the wedding.