Paris Hilton's My New BFF, also known simply as My New BFF and other alternate titles, is a competitive reality television show in which Paris Hilton searches for her new BFF ("best friend forever"). Following the success of the original US version, another US season and two international spin-offs followed. All versions were produced by Ish Entertainment (a subsidiary of Lionsgate Television) and in association with the original network on which they aired.
The first season premiered on MTV in the United States on September 30, 2008. Sixteen women and two men competed in challenges in an attempt to become her new best friend. Four of the female contestants were eliminated, almost straight away, in the first episode and hence did not feature in promotional material (photo shoots, TV spots or even the opening credits) for the show at all.
Guest stars included Benji Madden, Kyle Richards, Richie Rich, Traver Rains, Kathy Hilton, Fergie, Simple Plan, Chris Applebaum, Perez Hilton, Dirt Nasty, Allison Melnick, Ryan Seacrest, Nicky Hilton, Keyshia Cole, Hanna Beth Merjos and Nick Swardson.
Though Hilton was forbidden from revealing the winner before the show had fully aired, she had on two separate occasions accidentally referred to the winner as "she" - first on the September 25, 2008 airing of the Late Show with David Letterman, and again on the October 7, 2008 airing of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
On December 2, 2008, it was revealed in the finale that Brittany Flickinger had won the contest.
This season was also picked up for international distribution. International airing began in January 2009 on MTV Germany, in April 2009 on MTV Asia and MTV Latin America. ITV2, the network that aired the U.K. version, Paris Hilton's British Best Friend has also licensed the rights to air the U.S. version,titled Paris Hilton's American Best Friend Forever in listings guides (though not on screen) to avoid confusion with the British version, and this season will also air on 8TV in Malaysia. The series premiered in Australia in May 2010 on MTV Australia.
The DVD of this season was released in Australia on September 28, 2010. It is a 3-disc set, including every episode of Season 1 & three of the four specials aired on MTV.
The second U.S season premiered on MTV on June 2, 2009. Thirteen women and three men competed in challenges in an attempt to become Paris's latest best friend.
Hilton said that she did not stay friends with Season 1 winner Brittany Flickinger because "I loved her and I trusted her, but sometimes people get too caught up and they change.
Season 1 contestant Onch appeared as a co-host, dubbed the "Life Pet" by Hilton. Natalie Reid (a professional Paris Hilton-lookalike who also appeared with Hilton in The Simple Life), made a special guest appearance as Hilton's double in the premiere.
Other guest stars included Santino Rice, Kathy Hilton, Doug Reinhardt, Allison Melnick, Lil' Kim, Three Six Mafia, and Kathy Griffin.
This is the first and so far only format of the series to include straight men in the competition. The U.S. first season included two gay men and the U.K. series included one gay man. As David and Chris were added to the competition mid-way through, in episode four, they do not appear in promotional material for the season.
The British version of the show, Paris Hilton's British Best Friend, premiered on January 29, 2009 on ITV2 in the UK. Hilton shot the majority of the series in London, with portions of the first and last episodes shot in the U.S. Twelve women and one man competed in challenges in an attempt to become Paris' British Best Friend.
Guest stars included Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen, Rick Hilton, Kathy Hilton, Akin Konizi, Chris Leger, Scott Henshall, Boyd Hilton, Will Geddes, Mark Durden-Smith, Jade Jagger, Kate Michelson, Jackie Collins, Tamara Beckwith, Olivia Lee, Scott Mills, Vanessa Lloyd-Platt, Callum Best, Steve Shaw, Julian Bennett, Benji Madden, Allison Melnick, Nicky Hilton and Barron Hilton.
Scenes featuring Hilton partying with Katie Price as well as a performance at the BBF mansion by Good Charlotte are believed to have been shot, but did not make the final cut in any episodes.
The first episode featured cameos from American BFF contestants Brittany, Onch, Vanessa, Kiki, Sinsu and Lauren while showing Paris' going away party before departing for London. In the finale, Vanessa, Onch and Lauren are seen again when Paris introduces the British finalists to some of her American friends. They are also seen with Brittany at Barron Hilton's birthday party in the same episode.
Contestant Laura Meakin was added to the competition in episode two to replace Kat McKenzie, albeit temporarily, due to illness. For this reason, she does not appear in promotional material for the series. McKenzie later died, on July 3, 2009.
On March 19, 2009, it was revealed in the finale that Sam Hextall became Paris' British Best Friend.
Producers licensed the U.K. version for U.S. airing. Paris Hilton's British Best Friend premiered in the U.S. April 6, 2010 on the TV Guide Network It also aired on MuchMusic in Canada during 2009.
This version follows Hilton as she puts a group of twenty three young women from all throughout the world, but currently living in Dubai, through a series of tests to see who would best compliment her lifestyle. Hilton had also never been to Dubai before, so part of the show includes her initial reactions to her first trip to the United Arab Emirates. This is the first format of the series not to include any male contestants.
Production began mid-June, 2009, shot for seventeen days; the finale then concluded with a final shoot in Los Angeles. In late-December 2009, Hilton updated her Twitter saying she was recording voice-over and interview scenes for the series. In April, 2010, it was reported that Hilton had just her finished work on the series.
Legal issues delayed the airing of this version for over a year. While it was originally expected to air in Winter 2010, Lionsgate Television executives claim producers at Uniqon Emirates, LLC signed a written agreement, worth US$8 million, to co-produce and distribute Paris Hilton's Dubai BFF in the Middle East. Uniqon Emirates failed to pay more than $4.7 million to cover the production and distribution costs and Lionsgate filed a federal suit for breach of contract in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on February 2, 2010.
No official outcome for the suit was announced, however the series failed to air on Dubai TV, the announced original network for this version. MTV, being the original stakeholders for the franchise, came to the seemingly doomed series' rescue. MTV assumed world-wide airing rights for Dubai BFF and the series began airing on various MTV networks throughout the world in early 2011. Producers initially stated they planned to also licence the U.A.E. version for U.S. airing , however the U.S. MTV is still yet to add Dubai BFF to their schedule.
On June 12, 2011, it was revealed in the finale that Reem Al Alnezi became Paris Hilton's Dubai BFF.
This is currently expected to be the last incarnation of the franchise.
Producers originally indicated that the they planned to build My New BFF into a global franchise, with Hilton searching for BFFs around the world.
Hilton expressed interest in doing further versions of the show in Canada, Australia, Germany and Russia.
During an interview in July 2009, Arika Sato, who was a contestant on the U.S. My New BFF second season, said she had been in touch with Hilton since shooting wrapped and had been made aware Hilton would be doing further versions of the series beyond the one that was currently shooting in Dubai.
While promoting the second season in Dallas, Hilton told fans she is definitely shooting a third U.S. season for MTV.
During an interview in July 2009, Season 2 runner-up Tiniecia Goldsmith told fans to expect a third U.S. season, saying the ratings for Season 2 had been much higher than Season 1.
On September 30, 2009, Hollyscoop.com reported Hilton is currently busy prepping to shoot the new season of My New BFF.
On October 1, 2010, it was announced that Hilton will star in a new reality series, The World According to Paris, on Oxygen in 2011. The new series will showcase her real life more closely and will not be a part of the My New BFF franchise.
Hilton has emphasized she no longer wishes to "play the dumb blonde character" she portrayed herself as in My New BFF and The Simple Life, suggesting that the My New BFF franchise is finished for the forseable future.
Later, Hilton went on to clarify that it’s “probable” that her BFFs from each series will all be brought together, for a "showdown series" of sorts. While emphasising that other countries across the world have still asked her to film further versions, she's said “I’ve really enjoyed doing it, but I have enough BFFs”.
Hilton has since given the final word on the future of the franchise by stating; Producers call almost every single day, from every country around the world, wanting me to do BFF shows. Italy, Germany, Russia, Japan; I've been offered to do it everywhere. But I feel like I've really grown up and the show is something that was really fun, but I'm 30 years old now and I feel like I've moved on from that show.
Hilton added that she is still in touch with former winners from the series and contestants who didn't make it to the final.
Awards & recognition
2009, nominated in the Teen Choice Awards for Choice Reality/Variety TV Star - Female Paris Hilton and Choice TV Show - Reality/Variety.
2009, won Fox Reality Awards for 'Innovator of Reality TV' - Paris Hilton.