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Hollywood Hillbillies: The rise of redneck TV

Hollywood Hillbillies: A new reality TV show features a Georgia 'hillbilly' family that moves to Hollywood.

By Associated Press / July 30, 2013

Michael Kittrell responds to a South Park episode that claimed 'red heads' or 'Gingers' don't have souls. His sometimes profane YouTube video has now spawned a reality TV show: 'Hollywood Hillbillies.'

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Beverly Hills, Calif.

Honey Boo Boo is getting some competition.

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Another family from rural Georgia is coming to reality television, with "Hollywood Hillbillies" set to debut in January on cable TV's ReelzChannel.

The show follows Michael Kittrell and his grandmother Delores Hughes, known as "Mema," as the family moves from Grayson, Georgia, to Hollywood. Along for the ride are Kittrell's aunt, Dee Dee Peters, her boyfriend Paul Conlon, and Kittrell's uncle John Cox.

Kittrell is known as "The Angry Ginger" on YouTube, where a video he made to protest a "South Park" episode that claimed redheads have no soul gained attention.

"I made a lot of money on my YouTube channel, and I saved it all from the past four years," Kittrell said. "I got my family with me to support me and help me while we all look for our place out here."

Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson, her mother and their rural Georgia family are the subjects of a hit TLC cable TV show that focuses on their lives in a small town.

As The Christian Science Monitor reported, redneck TV is on the rise.

As the popular “Duck Dynasty” (A&E) wrapped up its third season it boasted an average of 8.5 million viewers an episode. A quick review of program lineups reveals the appetite for self-described reality “redneck” shows is only growing: “Buckwild” (MTV), “American Hoggers” (A&E), “Moonshiners” (Discovery), and “Hillbilly Handfishin’ ” and “Call of the Wildman” (Animal Planet) are just a sampling of programs reveling in the adventures to be had in rural, southern America.
Why are these shows captivating TV audiences? It could have something to do with the Southern tradition of good storytelling, or the invitation to gawk at a culture vastly different from one’s own.

Eric Deggans, television and media critic for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida, says there are two types of audiences drawn to these kinds of shows: one group that “feels like they’re from that world, and another that likes to mock them.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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