Most people that see Melissa Rivers in all of her splendorous glamour on the red carpet have no idea that the style maven is an Ivy League graduate, an accomplished equestrian and a single mother. She’s also an accomplished television producer and has ample experience behind the camera as well as in front of it.
The University of Pennsylvania graduate started to learn her craft after college at “CBS This Morning” where she quickly became a feature reporter which led ironically to a stint as a regular contributor on “Hangin’ with MTV.” Rivers then joined mother Joan to create the Red Carpet franchise and phenomenon exclusively for E! Entertainment. From then on, awards show coverage was never the same. The acerbic, dynamic duo even made it to celebrate their 1,000th interview live on The Red Carpet for the TVGuide Channel, where the Red Carpet franchise moved to after 10 years at E!.
During her time at E! Rivers produced and hosted a number of specials – two of which were the channels highest rated specials thus far – “Oh Baby! Melissa’s Guide to Pregnancy” and “Oh, Toddler! Surviving the Early Years.”
When the Rivers women took their Red Carpet programming over to the TV Guide Channel, the ratings soared. Rivers then produced and hosted a number of specials and series in addition to producing all of the Red Carpet programs at the cable network. She also hosted and executive produced “The Craze” on Fit TV which tested the efficacy of fitness products with normal people. Melissa is currently developing television projects, as a Producer or to Host, for a myriad of production companies and cable networks, some of which are expected to air in 2009 & 2010.
In 2003 Rivers had the opportunity to display her decidedly down-to-earth, tomboy side on ABC’s popular reality series “I’m A Celebrity! Get Me Out of Here.” The show featured celebrities leaving behind their pampered lives for weeks of roughing it in a remote outpost of the inhospitable Australian rainforest. She showed her strength and resilience under adverse circumstances and was the last woman standing, winning second place. She donated all of her winnings from the show to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. That same year she had the distinction of being PETA’s spokesperson and model for their highly publicized “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign which featured a billboard in Times Square during the height of holiday shopping. Recently, she joined the Board of Directors of the Entertainment Industry Council. She moderated a panel on mental illness for the organization and continues to stay involved with their programs.
In 2009 Melissa once again put her reality skills to the test by appearing on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” with her mother, Joan. After a dramatic exit, and her mother rising to the top to win Donald Trump’s approval to win the show, Melissa turned her attention towards becoming an author. Her book, “Red Carpet Ready: Secrets for Making the Most of Any Moment You’re in the Spotlight” debuted this past February published by Random House.
This year, Melissa continues starring opposite her mother on WE tv’s hit reality series, Joan & Melissa: Joan Know Best? The show premiered last year to rave reviews. The dynamic mother/daughter duo also works together on E! Entertainment’s Fashion Police in which Melissa holds the title of Executive Producer. The long-running show has changed to a new one hour format (it previously was a half hour).
Rivers lives with her son, Cooper, and two dogs in Los Angeles.