Ashley Parker Angel’s MTV series There and Back debuts in January

Flipping the channels, I landed on MTV, where a homeless guy with moppy dirty blonde hair was standing on a street corner, strumming a guitar and singing. Everyone walking by him was ignoring him, although he had a pretty decent John Mayer-ish voice.

As he played, an announcer said, “Making it big in the music business is never easy. It takes exceptional talent, an extraordinary amount of luck, and tireless perseverance. The second time around takes even more.” As the announcer said the last part, the camera zoomed in on a homemade cardboard sign that revealed this was no ordinary homeless guy. It was Ashley Parker Angel; a cutout cardboard star reminded us that he’s a “former boyband star.”

Yes, the O-Town group member is back. Ashley’s new show, which we heard about last June, will be broadcast starting Monday, Jan. 9, at 10:30 p.m. ET. There and Back will follow his life now as a man who is “broke, engaged and about to become a father,” as Variety reported last summer. So, other than the fact that he’s discovered his sperm works, what has he done in the two years since O-Town disbanded? MTV says he “is struggling both financially and artistically as he begins a solo music career. He is broke, his girlfriend, Tiffany, is pregnant, and he is sleeping on his future mother-in-law’s couch.”

But he has a new album coming out, and he hopes “he regains the fame and success he once had with O-Town.” At least he’s not hoping for much.

There and Back: Ashley Parker Angel [MTV]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.