PHOENIX, Arizona, January 8. RYAN Lochte's cameos in “90210” and “30 Rock” were just the beginning of his plan to rule the TV airwaves, as the Olympic champion is set to make his reality show debut with his own series, called “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?”
The show will air six episodes in April, according to an announcement made today by E! Entertainment President Suzanne Kolb at the Television Critics Association press tour. Lochte has been tight-lipped about the content of the show, but in a post announcing the show, E! said the show “will follow the self-proclaimed King of Gainesville, Fla. as he looks for love (and) hits the pool.”
Most reality shows are filmed months in advance of their airdates, so the first episodes could focus on Lochte's exploits immediately after the Olympics, including his romp through Las Vegas that had him racing Britain's Prince Harry in a pool. Lochte was also expanding his brand name outside the pool by attending fashion shows in an attempt to learn about starting his own fashion line. He was also a part of the E! channel's Fashion Week coverage in New York City in November.
Journalists attending the TCA announcement were shown a sneak peek of the episode. Entertainment Weekly wrote that “Lochte came off more than a little dense. Sort of like a male Jessica Simpson (a swimbo?). 'I don't even know what is a douchebag,' the swimmer said when apparently asked about being called the term. 'I don't even know what it means.' “
The news of Lochte's reality show indicates that his former agent, Erika Wright, is a producer on the show. Lochte dropped Wright as his agent and signed with Creative Artists Agency in early December, and it is not clear if today's announcement means Wright and Lochte will continue to work together.
It is not known if the six episodes airing in April are the only episodes currently in production, or if “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” will return for a second season.
Juggling swimming with participating in a reality show has been a mixed bag so far for Lochte in the five months since the Olympics. While he did win two individual events at the short course world championships, setting world records in the individual medleys, he was beaten in the 200 backstroke. Lochte does remain serious about his swimming goals, as evidenced by the recent video of him training with the Air Force Elite Special Forces.