Watching Maria Menounos host “Extra” often prompts the question, how does she do it all? Well, her new TV show might offer an answer.
“Chasing Maria Menounos” premiers March 18 on Oxygen at 10 p.m. and goes inside the mind and heart of Menounos as she attempts to balance her esteemed career with her family life.
The show will chronicle Menounos’ experiences with her boyfriend of 15 years, Keven, and traditional Greek immigrant parents, Costas and Litsa, who are demanding she at last get married and have children. As she turns 35, her parents have increased their desire for Menounos to get married and have children. Though she respects her family and boyfriend’s opinions, she tends to make decisions with or without their approval.
She contemplates whether she can support her parents and the friends who depend on her, while building a family with Keven and having some fun along the way.
“It’s really tough because I feel like more than ever women are in the same kind of boat as me,” Menounos says. “We really don’t know when the right time is and we’re really excited by our careers and, you know, we’re wanting to prolong it more than ever.”
The show offers a look into the less glamorous and lavish parts of being a star. Menounos’ notes that one night she may be dressed up in a fancy gown for the Oscars, and the next night she’ll be a Chili’s with her family.
“There’s like the me that works in this business and then there’s the real me that is outside of that,” Menounos says. “So I enjoy definitely the perks of all of this but there’s a reality to it too.”
The traditional Greek family at home is another aspect viewers will get to see on the show.
“I think it’s nice to see a traditional Greek family at home,” Menounos says. “I think it’s nice to see someone who made it in this town and, you know, and stayed in the same relationship they came in with. I don’t think you see that very often.”
Menounos’ boyriend Keven Undergaro, who will venture into the spotlight for the first time on the new show, also says that viewers will enjoy the peek into a star’s family life.
“I think seeing our family, I think it’s aspirational,” Undregaro says. “I think a lot of people dream to do better in life and then it’s nice to know that, you know, you can get there and you can have better things in life but that when you do get there you can still all be close and you still have the same problems that you had, you know, when you were a family back in the neighborhood.”
That home gives Menounos a place to relax and get away from her demanding life.
“I love being at home with Keven and the dogs and my parents,” Menounos says. “And I love cooking. I love watching movies. I love going to the beach. Keven and I have been going to the beach lately and just kind of reading and just breathing and taking it all in. We’re making conscious efforts to do that a little bit more.”
Menounos says much of the success in her career has come from never holding back.
"I’ve known what I’ve wanted to do since I was really young," Menounos says. "And I’ve worked really hard to, you know, run through every open door and work really hard and make good choices."
The story behind that success will now start to be told.
"Chasing Maria Menounos" premieres Tuesday, March 18 at 10 p.m. on Oxygen.