We first came to know Farrah Abraham, Maci Bookout, Catelynn Lowell, and Amber Portwood as teen mothers in 2009, when Teen Mom became the first spinoff series from MTV’s documentary-style 16 & Pregnant. So if that’s the way it began, many fans want to know: Then why is there an OG in the title now and what exactly does it mean?
The series began as a documentation of the four reality stars’ first year of motherhood, as they navigated complicated relationships with their baby daddies, parenting, and juggling their educations. For Catelynn and her then-boyfriend-now-husband Tyler Baltierra, much of the show focused on the emotional aftermath of putting their first born daughter Carly up for adoption.
The show ran for four seasons and it was so popular that it spawned a second part of the franchise, Teen Mom 2, but eventually ended as a side effect of Amber’s legal troubles. After being charged for domestic spousal abuse and struggling with addiction, the now 27-year-old found herself incarcerated in 2012 and the show, ultimately stopped production.
(Photo Credit: MTV)
After a years-long hiatus, filming began again in 2015, this time with a rebranding — adding “OG” to the title, which stands for “original girls.” Now that Amber was out of prison and Farrah’s sex tape had “leaked,” the series was much different. At first, Farrah wasn’t even apart of the series — a selling point that Maci had vehemently fought for. (In fact, she threatened to leave the show when producers announced later in the season that Farrah would be rejoining the cast).
“Initially in bringing it back, that was the decision [to not bring back Farrah],” Morgan explained. “I do think her priorities and the things she was focused on did not quite fit in at the time. We sort of started them at different points.”
“We didn’t have to jump into their stories at the exact same time,” Morgan continued. “Just looking at those three stories, ultimately, there was a feeling that something was missing and having a fourth perspective — the four different journeys and four different sets of consequences, all stemming from Teen Mom — that was the right way to go.”
Amber Portwood and her baby daddy Gary Shirley shortly before Amber went to prison. (Photo Credit: Splash)
The reboot also saw one more significant change: the breaking of the fourth wall. Executive producer Morgan J. Freeman revealed that the breaking of the fourth wall was crucial to truly letting fans into the lives of the show’s stars.
“We were still excited about where they were in their lives,” the producer said. “We also broke the fourth wall in those instances to see what it was like to let them be Maci from Teen Mom, Amber from Teen Mom, and pull the curtain back a little bit. In Being Amber, it was some of the most amazing stuff between the producer and Amber, just even the challenges of being on a TV show.”
“That fascinated all of us, so I think in looking at those and the idea of weaving them together again with a different format sort of checked all the boxes,” Morgan added. Watch the video below to see the cast of Teen Mom then and now!
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