Shannon & Sophie invade Canada

Random meeting at a party results in mother and daughter reality series
Greg David, May 20, 2014 12:00:42 AM

Shannon Tweed is honest when she explains why she and daughter Sophie are starring in their own television series. After seven seasons of Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Tweed was unemployed and looking for something to do. A chance meeting with Force Four (The Bachelor Canada, Seed) partner John Ritchie at Cannes quickly turned into a chat about television.

“He suggested that we redo our show,” Shannon tells TV Guide Canada, referring toJewels, the A&E reality show that followed the Kiss frontman, now-wife Shannon, daughter Sophie and son Nick as they went about their daily lives. “And I said, ‘You know, I don’t really want to do the same show.’”

“And I got roped in …” Sophie quickly chimes in. The result–Shannon & Sophie, debuting Tuesday on W Network–is a peek at the evolving relationship between a mother and daughter as the latter takes those first steps into independence while the former holds on to memories of days past. Sophie allows that the eight-episode project does showcase her budding singing and songwriting career–she wrote and performed the show’s theme music–but is quick to point out that starring in Family Jewels has hindered her acting growth.

“They have a preconceived notion of who you are by watching,” she explains. “So when I walk into an audition they say, ‘Oh, she thinks she going to get this because she was on a show,’ and they give me a really hard time about it. My favourite comment when I come in to read for a role is, ‘Wow, you’re actually pretty.’” Beauty is a focal point of at least one episode of Shannon & Sophie, as the pair address body image and the myth of the Size 2. Sophie details ongoing pressure in Hollywood to be small, something that just isn’t a reality for a mom and daughter who are both six feet tall. The youngest of the Tweed-Simmons clan says she’s in the first generation of kids to be bombarded with unrealistic and unfair pressure towards body image via social media.

“I’m actually writing a book on the subject,” Sophie details. “It’s something that isn’t being talked about. You see these workout gurus on Instagram who work out for 12 hours a day and eat chicken breast. That’s not realistic.”

Tuesday’s debut visits a common point in every young adult’s life: moving away from home. Sophie and her friend, Rachel use the Internet to search for possible homes while Shannon and her real estate agent look for potential places behind the girls’ backs. It’s a case of “mother knows best,” or at least she thinks she knows best and, a theme Shannon says runs through Season 1.

“You don’t have to lose your children,” she says. “They don’t have to move away and that’s it. You can be friends and still have a mother-daughter relationship.”

“And you can move out and have your own space,” Sophie adds.

“No you can’t!” Shannon finishes. She’s joking. We think.

 

Shannon & Sophie debuts Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT with two back-to-back episodes.

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May 18, 2014
TORONTO - After letting cameras into their rock royalty lives with "Gene Simmons Family Jewels," Shannon and Sophie Tweed-Simmons are taking the reality TV spotlight away from the long-tongued family patriarch.
May 16, 2014

It started in Cannes. Vancouver-based TV producers Rob Bromley and John Ritchie were at a TV conference cocktail party when they noticed KISS front man Gene Simmons and his Canadian-born Playboy alumna wife Shannon Tweed.

“There was nobody else talking to them; they were kind of sitting off to the side. I always liked their show Family Jewels,” says Mr. Ritchie, executive producer at Force Four Entertainment. “So we just went over and started chatting.”

May 15, 2014
DJ Tanner of C95FM had an interview on air with Shannon & Sophie
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May 13, 2014
Join Shannon and Sophie on the W Network May 20th at 10pm EST
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