Cast goes to screen, giving Steamboat its first look at ‘Relatively Famous: Ranch Rules’
On Wednesday, Jan. 12, Steamboat Springs got its first look at “Relatively Famous: Ranch Rules,” a reality TV show that stars celebrities’ children as they learn the traditions of ranching while showcasing the beauty of the Saddleback Ranch in Routt County.
“Back in the preproduction phase of the show, we did do a lot of location scouting at a handful of places across the country, and it was just clear that Saddleback Ranch was the best place for our show in terms of scenically, logistically, creatively, infrastructurally and all that stuff,” said Brandon Wahl, vice president of production for Fremantle, which also created the hit shows “America’s Got Talent,” “American Idol,” “The Price is Right” and “Family Feud,” among others.
“They just treated us so wonderfully out there, and they were happy to have us, and we were so happy and fortunate to be there,” he continued.
Wahl said the production team looked at other ranches in the area and in surrounding states. He said they explored sites like a nearby dairy farm in Los Angeles, but ultimately, choosing Steamboat and the Saddleback Ranch were “no-brainers.” This is the second time the ranch has hosted a realty television production.
Wahl said “Relatively Famous: Ranch Rules” had a production crew that included 75 members with people from Hollywood and Steamboat.
The production spent four weeks at the ranch that’s three miles from Milner off Routt County Road 179, and filmed the show from mid-May into June. The cast and staff lived on the ranch, but Wahl said they made plenty of trips to Steamboat to eat at local restaurants and visit downtown.
“It was so wonderful to leave the Los Angeles-studio system to get out there into nature and into what I would say is ‘boots-on-the-ground, real-world filming,'” Wahl said.
The main cast includes Hana Giraldo, the daughter of Neil Giraldo and Pat Benatar; Austin Gunn, the son of professional wrestler Billy Gunn and brother to Colten Gunn; Tay Hasselhoff, the daughter of David Hasselhoff; Jasmin Page Lawrence, the daughter of actor Martin Lawrence; Myles O’Neal, the stepson of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal and son to TV personality Shaunie O’Neal; Redmond Parker, the son of Grammy-winning singer Ray Parker, Jr.; Harry James Thornton, the son of former Playboy model Pietra Dawn Cherniak and actor Billy Bob Thornton; and Ebie, the daughter of the late rapper and hip-hop star Eazy-E.
“We did have one or two people living elsewhere in the country,” Wahl said. “But in large, they came from Los Angeles. The creative of the show was kind of ‘a fish out of water,’ you know sons and daughters of celebrities, and to get them out in a real-world experience.”
Jared Iacovetto, part of the fourth generation to run the ranch, and his daughter, Makayla, make appearance in the first two episodes, along with ranch hand Erin Shipka.
The show premiered Wednesday, Jan. 12, with back-to-back episodes on E! Entertainment Television. The series will continue with a new episode coming out at 7 p.m. every Wednesday until the finale March 2.
“They see this beautiful valley that we live in, so they were super grateful,” Iacovetto said. “Our ranch staff just absolutely enjoyed working with them, and they were super professional and thankful — definitely a fun group.”
Iacovetto said the family tuned in to watch the shows Wednesday night, and while he admits that the shows are a Hollywood version of what actually happens on the ranch, it’s still pretty darn entertaining.
“It’s neat because like my aunts and uncles and everybody, mom and dad, watched the show last night, and they were all happy with the way that it turned out — that’s always nice to hear,” Iacovetto said. “I think they did a pretty good job. It definitely had a little more drama than I would like, but you know there was definitely some funny parts in it, and the ranch definitely showed well. That was neat to watch for sure.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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