Maria Menounos may just have a hit reality show under her belt….actually, make that Maria Menounos and her family. In the newest reality show from Oxygen, Chasing Maria Menounos, the soon-to-be-former host of Extra — more on that in a moment — is charming and relatable as she maneuvers her way through a busy career while living with her long-term boyfriend and Greek parents, Costas and Litsa, who would really like her to get married and start popping out babies.
I am surprised it took this long for the reality world to take advantage of the photogenic looks and friendly personality of Maria Menounos, who besides being a television reporter is also a best-selling author, actress and sometime professional wrestler. The premise of the show is simple: Her busy career — see above — is getting in the way of her parents wishes for grandchildren.
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And Maria's Greek Immigrant parents are not shy about their wishes either. In the first episode marriage and babies seem to be the main topic of conversation at family dinners, making the 35-year old and her boyfriend of 15 years, Kevin Undergaro, seriously consider their future…before they miss their window.
After the premiere of Chasing Maria Menounos aired, Maria was not surprised by the positive public reception.“Everyone who knows us really personally was surprised to see exactly what they see every day on the show,” Menounos said. “They were like, ‘It’s so crazy knowing you guys and seeing it up there. It is exactly how you guys are.’ The reality of it all is something they all remarked about. They loved it. They of course loved my dad. Everyone commented on my dad. I think outside my family the comments are so overwhelming because everyone who has watched it I feel like really connected with it because their feedback has been really strong.
“They relate to it. They say, ‘It feels like my family,’ or, ‘I’m going through the same struggles.’ A lot of women are commenting on the fact that they haven’t really had a voice in this arena. It’s kind of taboo to be talking about marriage and kids in a way where it’s I don’t know. A lot of people have been saying how they finally have someone who is kind of forging that path for us and talking about. So the response has been really, really positive.”
The reality show success, may have come at the right time. News broke yesterday that Maria Menounos is leaving as co-host of Extra. And despite rumors of clashing egos with co-host Mario Lopez, insiders insisted to People magazine that Maria left on her own terms.
"She was not fired. She wasn't ousted," the source tells People. "No one is pushing her out.There's no Mario-Maria thing. She has no problem with him. She's fine with her co-host."
The source adds, "It was a mutual understanding" between Maria Menounos and Extra to part ways. "She's exploring a few options right now. There was absolutely no drama."
Watch Chasing Maria Menounos 10 p.m. EST Tuesdays on Oxygen
HAVE YOU WATCHED CHASING MARIA MENOUNOS? DO YOU THINK MARIA REALLY LEFT EXTRA BECAUSE OF MARIO LOPEZ?
[Photo Credit: Chasing Maria Menounos, Oxygen]