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Todd Chrisley Said NO To Doing Reality TV At First -- To Protect His Son!

Todd Chrisley Said NO To Doing Reality TV At First -- To Protect His Son!

Todd Chrisley‘s reality TV empire lasted for nearly a decade after Chrisley Knows Best debuted in early 2014. But if he’d had his way all along, his family never would have made it on screen!

So says his 26-year-old daughter Savannah Chrisley, at least. On Monday she appeared on Doug Bopst‘s Adversity Advantage Podcast. And while much of that discussion was serious and emotional regarding some of the things Savannah has been through, the Sassy By Savannah mogul also shared unexpected tidbits!

Related: The Heartbreaking Reason Savannah Hasn’t Been Visiting Her Parents In Prison

Most notably, the Unlocked podcast host revealed that her dad did NOT want to put his family on television. Even though they wound up on USA Network for more than nine years with both Chrisley Knows Best and its spinoff Growing Up Chrisley, Todd initially balked when producers came to him with a pitch.

Todd and his wife Julie Chrisley were busy raising Savannah and her brothers Chase and Grayson at the time, of course. And Todd had several older children from previous relationships, including Sav’s older half-brother Kyle. In fact, it was Kyle’s life struggles that made Todd adamant about not doing television at first. On Monday’s podcast, Savannah explained how her dad turned down pitches for a long time:

“My oldest half-brother [Kyle] from my dad’s first marriage, he struggles with, mental health, drugs, you know, all of it. And my dad was like, ‘I’m not putting that on TV for everyone to see.’ Obviously, when you grow up in the South, you’re perfect, and nobody ever sees what goes on behind closed doors.”


But Todd — who was working in real estate at the time — eventually warmed to the idea of building a reality TV empire. And when he came around, the family’s pitch was an instant hit. Savannah recalled:

“He just said, ‘no, no, no.’ But finally we did, and we filmed a sizzle reel, and they pitched it to networks. They pitched it to ten different networks, and out of the ten networks, nine of them wanted it. They wanted to go straight into series. They immediately wanted it.”

Savannah also revealed that Oprah Winfrey‘s OWN bid big bucks for the show only to be turned down in favor of USA Network:

“And then it just took off. The highest bidder at the time was actually Oprah’s network. She wanted hour-long episodes. I want to say it was, like, 12 or 15 episodes, which is crazy for a first-time show. But then we ended up with USA [Network], just because for us, at the time, it was the best fit. It was going to be on USA, E!, and Bravo. So, it aired on USA, and then it re-ran on all three networks, which I don’t think has ever really been done.”

Crazy! What might have been if Todd and Julie’s fam ended up on OWN? Heck, what might have been if Todd kept turning down pitches and never got on television in the first place?!

Amazement aside, the tidbit about Kyle is interesting and unsettling. As we’ve reported, Kyle — who was not a regular cast member on Chrisley Knows Best — has been in legal trouble throughout his life. Back in 2013, he was charged with assault and lost custody of his daughter, Chloe. Julie and Todd began raising her, and after they went to federal prison on charges on bank fraud and tax evasion last year, Savannah took over that guardian role for Chloe and Grayson.

Then, last March, Kyle was arrested for aggravated assault after allegedly brandishing a “fixed blade” knife during an altercation with his work supervisor. As of now, that case appears to be still pending, per the Rome Sentinel. Plus, that arrest followed on the heels of a domestic violence arrest months before in which Kyle allegedly made death threats to his wife. However, that domestic violence charge was dropped last May.

You can watch Savannah’s interview (below), with the reveal about the unlikely beginning of her family’s TV career coming just after the 2-minute mark:

Reactions, y’all? Sound off with your thoughts on Todd, TV, and fate down in the comments (below)…

[Image via Kyle Chrisley/Instagram/Nicky Nelson/WENN/Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office]

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Feb 07, 2024 06:14am PDT