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Could Casey Anthony get a reality show?

By Lisa Respers France, CNN
Now that Casey Anthony's trial is over, nothing's stopping her from cashing in on book or movie deals, some legal experts say.
Now that Casey Anthony's trial is over, nothing's stopping her from cashing in on book or movie deals, some legal experts say.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Speculation of what's next for Anthony has included her becoming a reality star
  • HLN's Dr. Drew Pinsky says he imagines someone will approach her with the idea
  • A casting agent says he doubts many networks would want to work with the vilified Anthony

Tune in to "Nancy Grace" Thursday night at 8 ET, live from Orlando, for more on Casey Anthony's sentencing. Then, Saturday night at 9 ET on HLN, don't miss a special two-hour event, "Justice for Caylee: A Nancy Grace Special." HLN looks back at the evidence and the emotional testimony in the Casey Anthony murder trial.

(CNN) -- It started as soon as the not guilty verdict came down Tuesday for Casey Anthony.

People blogged it, celebs tweeted it, and court watchers thought about it and discussed it. You might have been wondering it yourself.

CNN.com comments were loaded with it, including one reader using the handle "Stevelb1" who summed it up succinctly: "I bet she gets a reality show now."

As Anthony transitions from the famously accused young mother tried for the alleged murder of her child to the infamously acquitted woman whose proceedings captivated a nation, many wonder if her time on the small screen could be extended to include a reality show.

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After all, would such a concept be a big leap for someone whose life has already been so exposed, examined, picked apart and bandied about by pundits, spectators and experts?

"It makes sense to me that someone would go to her and say, 'Let me turn a camera on you right now,' " said Dr. Drew Pinsky, an HLN talk show host. "There's nothing to prevent that from happening, and if I know reality TV, someone's going to vie for that."

Not that the argument couldn't be made that the viewing public has already been treated to a Casey Anthony reality show, with the murder trial in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

As friends, family members, law enforcement and others took the stand, the trial unfolded like a modern-day Greek tragedy.

Alleged family secrets were revealed, including tension between Anthony and her mother, and the prosecution painted a picture of Anthony as a party girl indifferent to her child to the point of murder.

Even before the case of the tiny tot whose disappearance and ultimate discovery wound its way to court, the Casey Anthony story was evocative of a reality series complete with drama and the expectation of what could happen next.

"It's like a horrible reality show," John Walsh, "America's Most Wanted" host and father of a murdered son, told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper almost a year before the trial began. "Florida taxpayers say, 'Put this woman on trial and move on.' It's just tragically sad."

Now that the case has ended with Anthony being found not guilty of all but four misdemeanor counts, experts have speculated that she will now move on to monetizing her experience with everything from possible books to television movies.

Mark Yawitz is co-founder of RealityWanted.com, a casting company that has worked with reality shows like "America's Next Top Model" and "Bad Girls Club." He said given how vilified Anthony has been by many who did not believe in her innocence, he doubts that she'd be able to secure a reality TV deal.

"I think it's too over the top and am certain no one in reality TV would touch this," he said. "At least I hope not."

Yawitz said the public is almost hard-wired to want to tune into high-profile events like the Anthony trial, but viewers are willing to go only so far.

"There was a period in history where the public once gathered to watch executions," he said. "I couldn't imagine anyone doing that today, but something is built into our DNA to watch/follow events like this."

And contrary to public perception, he said, television executives are not willing to put just anyone on air to make money. Gary Fredo agrees.

Fredo, a lieutenant with the Los Angeles Police Department, was the host of a short-lived Fox reality show, "Murder in Small Town X," and said the allure of Casey Anthony lies not in watching cameras follow her life moving forward, but in the mystery that still surrounds her.

"People want to know what happened the day Caylee died and leading up to that," Fredo said, "not just where she is going and what she is going to be doing from this point."

Like many observers of the Anthony case, Fredo drew a comparison between Anthony's case and that of of O.J. Simpson, the celebrity athlete who in 1995 was acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.

"During that time period, he could be out on the golf course and all of a sudden it was national news," Fredo said. "But is Casey Anthony as big as O.J. Simpson? I don't know."

How could you develop a show in which Casey Anthony would be liked?
--Gary Fredo, LAPD lieutenant and former reality show host
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"I do know that people want to watch reality shows where they like the person featured or want to get a behind-the-scenes look at their lives. How could you develop a show in which Casey Anthony would be liked?"

Rather, he said, Hollywood will probably take the approach of dramatizing her story with a made-for-television movie.

Kevin Kuffa was co-casting director for "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," a recently canceled dramatic series that could have easily ripped the Anthony story from the headlines for an episode.

Kuffa said that while he imagines there is a market for viewers wanting to see an Anthony reality series, he couldn't imagine that many TV executives would want to do business with her.

"I feel like it would be such a public relations disaster for any network who would want to work with her," Kuffa said, given the national ire that was raised when Anthony was acquitted.

However, he said, there will undoubtedly be multiple TV movies.

"You always want to make a TV movie out of these dramatic, true-life crime stories," Kuffa said. "Lifetime [network] especially is good with their true-crime movies, and they are usually highly rated."

Pinsky said such projects are not hard to predict, given that Anthony will now have to figure out how to make money after having spent the last three years in prison awaiting trial.

There is at least one reality show that viewers shouldn't expect to see Anthony appearing on anytime soon. Asked whether he'd have Anthony on his hit VH1 series "Celebrity Rehab," Pinsky said, "No, I would not."

"Those decisions aren't made by me, but I don't see that she's an addict," he said. "There's no reason to treat someone who has no addiction."

On Thursday, Anthony appeared poised to regain her new life once she is released. Gone was the ponytail hairstyle and button-downed blouses as she literally let her hair down and wore a more relaxed, blue V-neck sweater.

She was sentenced to four years in prison -- one year for each of her four convictions of lying to authorities -- and fined $1,000 for each of the four counts. But with credit for time served and good behavior, she could be released as soon as this summer.

 
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