Willie Aames tries to rebuild his life on VH1 special Broke and Famous

Tonight at 10 p.m. ET, VH1 debuts a one-hour special that explores Charles in Charge star Willie Aames, who has gone from being a millionaire to being in financial and personal ruin, so much so that his 18-year-old daughter sold her books to buy groceries. (Clearly, his two appearances on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club didn’t make him rich.)

On Broke and Famous, a one-hour special, he works with life coach Sarano Kelley for seven days, who will give Aames $25,000 if he follows the coach’s advice. Aames looks, well, like shit, and kind of pathetic as he walks around in camo showing off the heads of animals he shot. And the coach is a bad-ass who calls Willie a “train wreck.” It’s an intriguing format and interesting that it’s just one hour, although it works as a back-door pilot for a series that could either keep following Aames or follow a different destitute star every episode. Either way, it’s kind of a welcome change in direction for VH1–just as long as he doesn’t get his own dating show.

Watch the first 12 minutes:

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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, 37, 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.