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Celebs Cops on 'Armed and Famous'

by Michael Schneider

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Erik Estrada in 'CHiPs'

It's "America's Most Wanted" meets America's D-List Celebrities. Production has begun on the CBS reality entry, "Armed and Famous," which follows five 'celebrities' as they train to become police officers in Muncie, Indiana.

Erik Estrada, who played a freeway patrolman on "CHiPs" is back in uniform undergoing police training along with Singer La Toya Jackson, 'Son-of-Ozzy' Jack Osbourne, Pro Wrestler Trish Stratus and "Jackass" Star Jason Acuna (aka Wee Man).

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" alum Tom Forman is behind the show, which he'll executive produce along with Jeffrey Kramer and Michael Braverman (who created the show). Tom Forman Prods. and Magic Molehill Prods. are behind "Armed and Famous." Forman departed "EM: Home Edition" earlier this year.

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"Armed and Famous" will follow the five stars as they experience the same training police reserve officers go through, followed by graduation. After that, the celebrities will go on patrol (while carrying guns) with the same training officers who traditionally ride with rookies.

CBS hasn't yet firmed up an airdate for "Armed and Famous," which has just begun shooting in Muncie. According to a story in the Muncie Star Press, Jackson had already failed a physical fitness assessment because she couldn't complete enough push-ups.

Forman told the newspaper that he chose Muncie, Indiana because one of the show's producers hails from the Midwestern town. Shooting . . . er, maybe we should say filming will take place over the next month.

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Reality Show Features Gun-Toting Celebs

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La Toya Jackson takes aim in the new CBS

reality show, 'Armed and Famous'

Erik Estrada and other lesser celebrities have been sworn in as reserve officers of an Indiana city police department, allowing them to carry badges and guns as part of a CBS reality television series. About 200 people packed into a Muncie City Hall auditorium for the swearing in ceremony on Tuesday, December 5.

The CBS show, "Armed and Famous," being filmed in this east-central Indiana city, population 66,000, follows the celebrities as they enforce the laws alongside city police officers. swear in the former "CHiPs" star, along with La Toya Jackson, Jack Osbourne, Wee Man and Trish Stratus.

A producer coaxed the crowd into cheering loudly for the camera, and parts of the ceremony had to be repeated several times for the TV cameras. "Roll call is at 6 o'clock," Muncie Police Chief Joe Winkle told the celebrities. "Do not be late."

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Erik Estrada in 'CHiPs'

Winkle had to say the line three times. The first take was interrupted by audience applause, the second was too quiet. "Welcome to TV," said Julie Link of Forman Productions. "Sometimes, we have to retake."

Estrada joked with the crowd that people may not recognize him as an officer because he would not be wearing his toupee. He pulled up the back inch of his hairpiece and wiggled it, drawing laughter from the crowd. Estrada carried a gun but rarely used it to stop bad guys in his 1970s motorcycle-cops drama. Estrada also appeared in VH1's "Surreal Life" in 2004.

Osbourne, 21, son of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, was on the MTV's "The Osbournes." Wee Man, 33, a 4-foot-7 skateboarder, gained fame on the MTV show, "Jackass." Jackson, 50, a singer and sister of Michael and Janet Jackson, is a native of Gary, and Stratus is a former WWE professional wrestler.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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'Armed and Famous' Premieres January 10

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Jack Osbourne (left) and Jason 'Wee Man' Acuna (right)

on the shooting range of the new CBS reality show,

'Armed and Famous'

Dancing is for wimps! Five brave celebrities will train to become sworn police officers with the Muncie Police Department in Indiana. They will help clean the streets by arresting the bad guys, including drug dealers, hookers and johns, wife-beaters, burglars, the drunk-and-disorderly and more! The new CBS reality show premieres on Wednesday, January 10 on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Who are these brave new recruits? International television star Erik Estrada of "CHiPs" fame, singer and author La Toya Jackson, movie star and professional skateboarder Jason 'Wee-Man' Acuna from the "Jackass" movies, television personality Jack Osbourne from the hit reality show, "The Osbournes" and seven-time WWE Champion Wrestler Trish Stratus will venture into the streets to serve and protect the people of Muncie.

But first, they will go through intense police training in order to become cops. They will learn everything from firearms to hand-to-hand combat. They'll even find out what it's like to be on the receiving end of a taser! Upon completion of their training, they'll be issued badges and guns as well as be partnered with veteran police officers to hit the streets of Muncie.

Funny? Often. Emotional? Yes and in many surprising ways. Serious? Always. To these five celebrities, serving the people of Muncie is an honor that equals or surpasses anything they have experienced previously in their careers. Watch as they step up to the challenge of being . . . "Armed and Famous."

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