As we reported back in March, MTV is planning to produce yet another Teen Mom spinoff series.
But this time, the franchise is contracting, not expanding.
The new show will serve as a replacement for both Teen Mom OG and Teen Mom 2.
The casts of the two shows will be combined into one, which will obviously mean less screen time for everyone involved.
In fact, according to The Ashley’s Reality Roundup, two Teen Mom stars have already been fired.
Okay, technically only one of them was let go — insiders say Mackenzie McKee was never contacted about appearing on the new show, which is already filming.
Kailyn Lowry also will not be participating, but the decision was reportedly hers.
Lowry has been clashing with producers in recent months and on a recent episode of TM2, she rather boldly informed her bosses that she makes more money from podcasting than from appearing on MTV.
So yeah, officially, the decision was hers, but she probably would’ve remained on the cast if she were still getting along with her bosses.
Anyway, The Ashley reported last week that the new show will be called Teen Mom Legacy.
But according to a new report from The Ashley, that corny title has been changed to the slightly less-corny Teen Mom: The Next Chapter.
Still sounds sort of like a Star Trek spinoff, but the new name is somewhat less absurd.
MTV has confirmed that the show is currently filming and is set to premiere "soon."
“The casts of ‘Teen Mom OG’ and ‘Teen Mom 2’ are each currently in different stages of motherhood – some have kids in diapers, while others are now parenting teenagers!" reads a press release from the network.
"But they all share the unique experience of momming so young," the statement continues.
"For the first time, the moms and all their stories will be brought together in one supersized series that focuses on the unique bond this ‘Mom Group’ shares as they face the reality of parenthood and adulting while entering this next phase of life together.”
You almost have to admire the spin that MTV’s PR department has put on this little experiment.
Teen Mom ratings have been declining for years — both series that are being combined here have consistently failed to reach the half a million viewers mark in recent years.
And the network is cutting ties with two of its best-known stars (Kailyn and Mackenzie are both divisive figures, but there’s no denying that they’re well known.
And yet, MTV execs are making it sound like this is an exciting new project for everyone involved.
Make no mistake — what it really is is a last-ditch effort to rescue a franchise that was once a ratings juggernaut.
“This is like their last-ditch effort to keep the shows going…There are just too many people working on this franchise and it’s not bringing in the ratings and money it once did," one insider tells The Ashley.
"They needed to come up with a way to keep the show going but in a cheaper way. The casts’ salaries are enormous and it costs a lot of money to fly all over the country to film the girls.”
So if you’re still a hardcore Teen Mom fan, make sure to tune into Next Chapter and encourage your friends to do the same.
Because if this thing doesn’t catch on, that’ll likely be it for Leah Messer, Amber Portwood, and company.