Giuliana and Bill Rancic are such an endearing couple. Sure, they live high profile lives, played out in front of cameras, but it's the real-ness and raw-ness of their serious couple issues that has made them so popular, bringing them back for a fourth series (read on for the scoop on their Australian visit).
Seen here on the Foxtel and Austar channel The Style Network, the power couple's (she's an E! entertainment reporter for E! News and Fashion Police; he is the winner of the first Donald Trump TV hit The Apprentice) show Giuliana & Bill premieres Monday August 1 at 8.30pm.This time, the couple face their biggest challenge yet – living in the same city for the first time. See? Just like you and me!
With last season being the highest-rated and most-watched season to date, expect some new curveballs along the way. Of course, what they've faced so far is hardly something they requested to have written in the series: the heartache of trying to conceive - and the tragedy of miscarriage - and the medical procedures that have ensued.
Realising they cannot live in two separate cities - Los Angeles and Chicago - with all that's happening (Bill has strong roots in his hometown of Chicago where they finally finished building their dream home; and Giuliana’s E! News career is thriving with additional responsibilities as co-host of Fashion Police and E! Live from the Red Carpet – all based on the US west coast) the couple decides to make Los Angeles their home – together.
Last week, Bill Rancic chatted with me by phone from his Brentwood, Los Angeles home.Asked how his reality show differs from myriad others, Bill is clear:
"I think our show is different and it's different in a number of ways. When we were first approached to do the show I was pretty reluctant. I said, no that's not something I had thought about doing in my lifetime. And I thought about it and I said, if we're going to do it, we're going to do it under a couple of conditions. One, we're going to do a show that's positive. A show that showcases the good aspects of a relationship. And secondly, we're going to be ourselves. You know, I don't want to have scripts - you know, some of these reality shows are so fake. We're not going to do that. We're going to have a show that's real, that's authentic, that's not fake. And that's what we've done; what you see on the show is what we are, and people who know us as friends can say that's exactly how we are in real life and we don't script things and we don't do things for ratings.
"It's funny, when we first came out with the show four seasons ago, everyone in Hollywood said, "The show's going to fail, because people want that scandal, they want the controversy and if we're not going to give it to them then no-one is going to watch. And I disagreed, and said, well we'll see. If you look at all the other show out there they showcase infidelity, and drug use, and violence... it's horrible.
"A woman said to me on the street and said, "Thank you for making the show. It's a show I can sit down and watch with my daughters, and it's a relationship I hope they can have one day. That's a big compliment, and that's what we wanted to achieve."
Asked if it was hard to getting used to cameras, Bill tells surprisingly it was Giuliana that had a slightly harder time at first.
"For me, I was accustomed to it with The Appentice. For Giuliana, it took some getting used to."
Sometimes, it's not always pretty, I offer.
"You bought up a good point: it's not always pretty. We've been able to tackle some pretty heavy duty issues on the show and it's issues that a lot of people face. More people than you would ever imagine. With infertility, it's one in five couples who have problems conceiving and it's never talked about. So, it's been a very rewarding process because we've been able to help many couples through the show and sharing our story, and kind of turning the lights on this unpopular topic."
When Giuliana lost her baby through miscarriage, I admitted crying tears - it's so raw.
"Yeah, it's the real deal," adds Bill.
During their recent appearance on the E! channel's Chelsea Lately show, the couple openly discussed the possibility of adoption, and possibly from Giuliana's hometown of Naples, Italy.
"Well, we're exploring it, and I think we have other avenues to exhaust first, but adoption is certainly something we have explored. That's down the road, but we have a few tricks up our sleeve first. Hopefully, we will have twins like yourself - that would be a dream come true!"
What I love most about the couple is the humour and the ribbing (Giuliana is often heard to exclaim: "Rancic!") as shown by the moment the couple sat down to talk to Chelsea Handler recently. In true Chelsea style, she launched straight into Bill's sexual history.
"I love Chelsea, we've known Chelsea a long time and we have fun. Sure, it's something I normally don't talk about - it got a little raw there - but it was fun!
"It is what it is, we're open, we're very honest with each other. And when I married Giuliana I gave full disclosure before we got married, because I've heard so many horror stories about my buddies who got married and their wives didn't know about their previous life or their college days and I laid it on the table and said, this is the guy that I am and I don't want any surprises down the road, and she got it. And she did the same, she told me everything up front. I think that's part of a healthy marriage. You can't try to be someone you're not."
So, what does Bill hope for viewers to get from this fourth season?
"We have a marriage that I think most people in the world have. We show how we deal with our problems and we give people another perspective in how to deal with issues in a marriage, good or bad. But, it's real, and that's kinda refreshing to say, hey, these people have the same problems we do. Look, Bill's complaining about Giuliana's spending habits! We're not a show that showcases private jets and helicopters and all that crazy stuff. We are who we are. I am a guy who is trying to curb my wife's spending every day," he laughs.
On Chelsea Lately, Bill talked about a new show he's starting with Leeza Gibbons.
"Well, we're doing a new show that's called America Now, and it's a news/magazine show, a 'news you can use' program. I was attracted to the show because it's a show to help empower people, tips they can use to improve their life everyday. It's a thirty minute show, it's going to be on Monday through Friday and Leeza and I are doing it together, and it has stories like how to look out for your kids on the playground or how to save money at the grocery store. It's a very wholesome show that people can watch for thirty minutes and they can implement what thet saw into their daily lives."
"There's talk of it being brought out to Australia - we'll see. I was so close to coming to Australia - I was in Auckland and was supposed to give a speech in Sydney, but that fell through. But we're hoping to come to Australia this New Year's Eve - we've been approached to host a New Year's party in Australia, so fingers crossed, we hope to come and ring in the New Year with you guys."
Watch the promo video of season four below:
And to see the Chelsea Lately clip, go here:
Chelsea Lately (07/20/11) - Part 2: Giuliana and... by butterflykisses82
Giuliana & Bill season 4 screens Mondays at 8.30pm on The Style Network, available on FOXTEL, OPTUS and AUSTAR on Channel 122.