After being one of the earlier stars of reality TV, Spencer Pratt wants nothing more than to be back on the air. Unfortunately for him, MTV canceled the revival of his hit aughts show, The Hills, which he had starred on with wife Heidi Montag, in January.
"I'm supposed to be Kim Kardashian," Pratt said in an interview with Esquire published Wednesday. "Watch all the early episodes of [Keeping Up with the Kardashians]. They copied everything Heidi and I did on The Hills. The only difference between us and the Kardashians, I've learned, is you're only as famous as the media conglomerate bankrolling you. I didn't understand that once Viacom wasn’t in the Heidi and Spencer business, it was a wrap on the visions I had for us and our success. Comcast didn't unplug the Kardashians until last year."
And The Hills actually did predate reality TV's current first family: The Laguna Beach spin-off debuted in May 2006, while Keeping Up with the Kardashians first aired in October 2007. The new version of Pratt and company's show, The Hills: New Beginnings, first aired in June 2019, and it ran for three seasons. However, the Kardashians are still going strong, and their new show, called, simply, The Kardashians, premiered on Hulu in April.
"I'm still in shock. We just lost a f***ing TV show," said Pratt, whose interview was conducted just two weeks after he received the bad news. "It's been an emotional rollercoaster. I was arguing with a few of the cast members who said, 'We don't need the network. We just need a boom mic and some cameras and we can do it ourselves.' And I'm like, 'Bro, I've been filming myself for five years. There's nothing like being on a television show.'"
He's attempting to sell a new one, on which he would be producer not the star. It would focus on the two co-owners of cannabis company Cannabiotix, their business and their relationships. He knows, though, that it couldn't be exactly like it was at the peak of The Hills, when he said that the drama was manufactured. He added that the rest of the cast is not willing to, as the magazine says, "act reckless on camera for money."
And audiences are more sophisticated. They've now watched reality TV for decades.
"What I was hated for wouldn't even make it onto a show these days," said Pratt, who insisted that scenes depicting him apologizing to Lauren Conrad in a phone call and leaving Montag on the side of the road after a fight were very much staged. "These people are literally catching felony charges for embezzlement."
He acknowledged that, at the height of their fame, he and Montag didn't expect it all to end.
"Heidi and I, we were just always on our own," he said. "We had such a level of fame, I had never imagined needing to meet other people."
But after the original show ended, Pratt and Montag went broke more than once. They lived in Costa Rica, where they competed on I'm a Celebrity… Get me Out of Here! for all of two days before quitting, and later in Santa Barbara, Calif. They're now back in the upscale Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles, with Pratt pining away for more air time. After all, he needs it to promote his crystal business, Pratt Daddy, which reportedly brings in more than $300,000 in sales in a "good month."
"I want a hit show so f***ing bad!" he said.