March 18, 2010
Kiss' Gene Simmons survives 100 episodes of life in front of the camera for show 'Family Jewels'

BY Cristina Kinon

Has Gene Simmons broken the reality TV curse?

The Kiss rocker's A&E series, "Gene Simmons Family Jewels," is quickly approaching its 100th episode, and his relationship with girlfriend Shannon Tweed is still intact, his kids Nick and Sophie are behaving themselves, and the media hasn't unearthed some dark family secret that's been hidden for years.

With a history littered with Jessica Simpsons and Nick Lacheys, Hogans and Gosselins, having a clan survive life in front of the camera is a feat worth celebrating.

"Those families were destined to be torn apart. Television cameras just happened to catch it," Simmons told the News. "My life is an open book. What you see is what you get, and I don't care."

"Gene Simmons Family Jewels" returns for a fifth season this Sunday at 9 p.m. on A&E with a special one-hour episode that focuses on Tweed and a personal health scare. When she finds a lump in her breast, the family rallies around her to get through a difficult time.

Simmons and Tweed also will appear on "The Doctors" today at 9 a.m. on WCBS /Ch. 2 to discuss the matter.

"You men out there, you have to talk and make sure your loved one goes today, not tomorrow, to see wonderful doctors who are there to save lives," says Simmons in the segment.

The fifth season of "Family Jewels" is not only a milestone for the series, but a landmark in several of the family members' lives. Gene turns 60, Nick turns 21 and graduates from college, and Sophie graduates from high school - all of which are caught on tape.

"The kids are going from young teenagers to a grown man and a woman," said Simmons. "There's going to be a different dynamic because they're both moving out of the house."

Asked if that's going to be tough for him, Simmons replied, "What do you think?"

Simmons at least has a day job to distract him - he's in the midst of a two-year world tour with Kiss, and working with bandmate Paul Stanley on a new kids' series with production company E1 Television.

The show will either be a live-action "Power Rangers"-type series or a show about a rock band. Either way, the main goal is to expand the Kiss empire.

"This world should be Planet Kiss," said Simmons. "Every step you take should be on hallowed Kiss ground."

But whether he's rocking out on stage, mugging for the cameras or keeping his kids in line, Simmons says he can't complain - life has been pretty good to him.

"Whether people think I'm a moron or a genius, all of it's fair," Simmons said. "I'm lucky enough to not be flipping burgers. I have nothing to whine about and never have.

"If I was growing up, who would I want to be?" he added. "I'd want to be Gene Simmons."