Jamie Foxx

Denise Truscello/WireImage.com

What's with celebs needing to do all these reality shows? Are these people so obsessed with themselves, or do they just need the money?
—D.D.

The answer is as varied as the colors of the diamonds that Jennifer Lopez sees dancing in her dreams. Jamie Foxx has a new MTV reality show debuting July 15, but he won't be appearing at all, leaving money as the most likely motivation.

In producing a reality show, big celebs typically get "a 5 or 10 percent takeback from everything made through the show," explains marketer Richard Laermer, who steered über-producer Peter Guber into a reality-show career. "And if the show goes overseas, you can make a fortune on that thing."

So where does that leave, like, Tori Spelling? Well...

With a drama-turned-reality star like Tori, a flagging career is the likely motivation. She was on Beverly Hills, 90210 in the early 1990s. Then people forgot about her for a while. The Earth rested and everyone was at peace.

Except for Tori, of course. Back she came. She hyped herself and her life through a couple of seasons of Tori and Dean: Something Something Something, and behold, the comeback. She landed an endorsement deal with NutriSystem. She has enough of a fan base for people to care about the birth of her second baby. She's front and center in a Sketchers ad campaign. Even the death of her dog is news.

"Just like the stock market, celebrities have to aggressively maintain and refreshen those brands, or they will go stale and grow old," says James Lee, president of the Lee Strategy Group, a marketing consultancy that has pitched celebrities for reality shows.

Speaking of stale and old, gotta go. I think my editor needs something.

Got a question about Hollywood? ASK IT!

Oh, and be my fan on Facebook, 'kay?

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