Jessica Simpson Reflects On Her And Ex-Husband Nick Lachey’s MTV Show And Reveals Whether She’d Return To Reality TV

screenshot of Jessica Simpson
(Image credit: Jessica Simpson's YouTube)

It doesn’t get much more early aughts than Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, which ran on MTV from 2003 to 2005. The reality series followed the marriage between two of the biggest names in the music industry at the time: Jessica Simpson and 98 Degrees’ Nick Lachey. In the intervening years since its cancellation, the couple have divorced and moved on with other people and projects, but their show has retained somewhat of a cult status in popular culture. Simpson now reflects on her and her ex-husband’s claim to fame and reveals whether she’d return to the world of reality TV.

When the show was airing all those years ago, Jessica Simpson was not-so-kindly mocked by the public as just another “dumb blonde.”  And it culminated to a frenzy with her infamous “Chicken…by the Sea” line in one episode. Yet while appearing on The Real, the ex-reality star was surprisingly candid that she holds no bitterness toward that time period of her life, saying:

I don't regret that at all. If anything, it was great TV. It was very real, and Nick and I actually had a lot of fun. We got to do a lot of things that we wouldn't do. I don't like to go camping. There were definitely moments where it was like, 'Oh, just put Jessica out here in the wilderness, and you'll get good TV.' … There's a lesson in everything.

She continued that she was “so young” during Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica’s popularity (being in her early 20s at the time) and didn’t have a “hold” on who she was as a person yet. But that’s all seemingly changed in the past 20 years. The Dukes of Hazzard actress has in fact built up a billion-dollar retail brand, had three kids with her second husband, Eric Johnson, and been on a seriously impressive weight loss journey in the interim. So with all that camera-worthy content at hand, would Jessica Simpson consider taking on another reality series at this stage? She says:

Oof, no. Well, reality set up so different now which is a funny thing to say. Ours was actually very real and very authentic, maybe because it was one of the first. But we had a mic pack on from when we woke up until when we went to sleep. Nowadays, they have allotted shooting days and that type of thing and it would make it a lot easier.

The businesswoman had hinted as much in 2018 that she was never ever returning to the game of constant filming – based on how she herself was treated in the public eye. And she’s right that reality TV has now evolved much since the days of Newlyweds and The Real World franchise. The newer concept of “storylines” and carefully crafted scenes or trips for drama frequently invite accusations that the shows are actually more scripted in nature.

However, Jessica Simpson is still cursorily connected to the reality TV dominion, whether she wants to be or not. She shared on the daytime talk show of late that her 9-year-old daughter, Max, is actually best friends with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s 8-year-old daughter, North. The former MTV star said she was confused when husband Eric was coaching North for basketball and there were no cameras around to document it for the family’s new Hulu show called The Kardashians, as would’ve been the case in Simpson’s heyday.

Apparently, she even point-blank asked the mother of four – who was lately involved in a major social media beef with her ex-husband Kanye West – “How in the world do you guys do this?” She added that it helps that Kim Kardashian is “really open” and “awesome,” along with being a “beast” and “incredible mother.”

Perhaps we might then catch a cameo of Jessica Simpson on The Kardashians (which is streaming now with a Hulu subscription). But clearly, any other reality TV show prospect is not in the cards – as the star is officially retired in that respect.

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.