Back in March, we reported on rumors of a Teen Mom spinoff that would bring together cast members from across the long-running MTV franchise.
Sources said this show would different from Teen Mom: Family Reunion, in that the girls would continue to film in their hometowns, and the series would serve as a replacement for Teen Mom OG and Teen Mom 2, which would now be canceled.
The move made sense, as Teen Mom ratings have been declining for years, and a condensed version would allow producers to trim the fat and fire some of the franchise’s less popular stars.
Now, insiders have confirmed that filming is underway for Teen Mom Legacy (yes … that’s really the working title), and it looks as though some of the original moms failed to make the cut.
According to a new report from The Ashley’s Reality Roundup, eight cast members are currently filming:
Thus far, Catelynn Lowell, Maci Bookout, Cheyenne Floyd, Amber Portwood, Leah Messer, Jade Cline, Ashley Jones and Briana DeJesus have survived the first round of eliminations.
But it’s possible that more stars will be let go between now and the time when the show premieres.
“Eight girls are filming for the show; whether or not all of the girls’ segments make it into the episodes will depend on how exciting their footage is,” one production source tells The Ashley.
“Everyone agrees that the original shows have become stale and forced, with the girls desperately trying to come up with storylines. With this format, only the girls with actual events happening in their lives that are film-worthy will make the final cut," the tipster continues.
“The producers hope this will keep everything exciting for the fans, and also for the girls who are filming.”
Yes, it’s possible that the cast will be further downsized as a cost-cutting measure.
But for now, the only two stars have been left out of the new show are Kailyn Lowry and Mackenzie McKee.
The Kail news isn’t terribly surprising.
For months now, Lowry has been threatening to quit the show that made her famous, and she recently boasted that she makes more money from podcasting than from her appearances on MTV.
But it seems that Mackenzie was blindsided by the news that her services were no longer needed.
“Kail was asked but she turned the new show down,” a different production source tells The Ashley.
“But she was asked. Mackenzie was not asked. She was basically ghosted by MTV and [her producers] and was never actually told she was not invited to be on the show," the insider alleges.
"They just didn’t respond to her and left her hanging.”
Obviously, Mackenzie got the rawest deal here (and since she was a late addition to Teen Mom OG, she’s probably not as financially comfortable as the other girls).
But it sounds like all of the moms will need to make lifestyle adjustments as a result of this latest shakeup.
“The cast only gets paid for the episodes they’re in. If their voice or image doesn’t appear in the episode, they are not paid, so with each episode only featuring select girls, this will be a real hack in their paycheck, especially to the girls who don’t really show much while filming,” says the second source.
The budgets for the current Teen Mom shows are much higher than those of most reality series, and the franchise’s ratings have been steadily declining for years.
You don’t need to be a seasoned network exec to know that that’s not a winning formula.
The Ashley‘s source revealed back in March that the spinoff represents the franchise’s last, best hope of remaining on the air in any form.
“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," an insider said at the time.
"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.”
As for that corny title, The Ashley‘s source says it’s probably here to stay.
“That’s the working title,” the first source explains
“It could change but they’re pretty set on that. They think the girls on this show have a ‘legacy’ because they’ve been on TV for so long.”
Will Legacy live up to its name and become MTV’s next long-running hit?
The odds seem slim — but given the size of their salaries, we’re not surprised that the eight remaining moms are willing to give this project a shot!