You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.



Twitter success leads to Web series for Richie


– As the Twitterverse expands with millions of users, it can be hard to have a unique voice. Nicole Richie doesn’t have that problem.

Some examples:

“ ‘It’s 8:30am & I’ve already gotten into 5 fights’ – thugs, and parents of toddlers.”

“This therapist is going to be great for me once I stop lying to him.”

“I’m gonna dress up as an iPhone so my husband pays attention to me.”

Tweets like that earned her not only millions of followers but the attention of production company Telepictures, which was already aware of Richie’s popularity and wanted to work with her.

“As soon as we began pursuing her we also began following her on Twitter,” recalls Laura Mandel, senior vice president of development of Telepictures. “We were struck by how funny and candid she was and wanted to really showcase that side of her personality, which we haven’t seen in a long time.”

They teamed up with AOL to create the Web series #CandidlyNicole. Each video is about five minutes and a new one is posted every Tuesday morning.

The first webisode, where 31-year-old Richie consults with a doctor about having her “tramp stamp” (or tattoo on her lower back) removed, earned 1 million views in just its first week. (Try not to at least smirk as she keeps referring to the doctor as “Dr. Tatt-off.”)

In a recent phone interview, Richie said she’s “thrilled” by the response but still has a hard time grasping that she’s funny.

“My husband (musician Joel Madden) doesn’t think I’m funny at all,” she said. “He has not laughed at a joke of mine since 2006. I don’t necessarily always just mean to be funny. I just kind of say whatever’s on my mind, but I do know that I have a very specific way of looking at my life.”

Of course, Richie is no stranger to television. She first appeared alongside Paris Hilton on “The Simple Life,” and just wrapped a second season as a mentor on the competition show “Fashion Star” on NBC.

But Richie appreciates the format of the webisode.

“We are living in a world where everything needs to be a little bit shorter to keep people’s attention,” she said. “Especially the younger audience, which is why I think Twitter is so great.”

She gets together once a week to film with a small crew. They go over ideas of what to shoot, but each video really is born from a Tweet she has posted.

Now that #CandidlyNicole is a hit online, the next question is, could it be reformatted for television?

Telepictures and Richie say they’re game. Mandel says they’ve already received calls from various networks.

“No matter what, this will be a developmental tool for me to build my brand so whether it’s TV or whatever, I think doing it in a digital space is a nice way to experiment,” added Richie.