Lake Minnetonka native and has teamed up with Oprah Winfrey for what is being called a “first of its kind” social experiment that challenges a small Georgia town to focus on love for 30 days.
“Lovetown, USA” premiered Sunday night on OWN. The new show follows Rosenberg and co-host Paul Brunson (the real-life “Hitch” on whom the hit 2005 movie starring Will Smith was based) as they embed in Kingsland, GA—population 16,000—to help neighbors mend fences, local churches come together for the first time and community businesses resolve disputes.
“Lovetown, USA” will air nationwide on Sundays throughout the fall, locally at 9 p.m., and involves everyone from the mayor to grade school students. The experiment focuses on the effects love, grace, kindness and forgiveness can have on an entire community.
So how was Lake Minnetonka’s “love doctor” handpicked by America’s queen of talk to host a nationally-televised reality show?
Rosenberg said she had been in talks with Oprah and her representatives for several years about a possible television show and learned earlier this year that a fit had been found.
“Out of the blue I got a call from OWN saying they’d found a show and thought I’d be perfect for it,” she said. “It turned out the BBC came to OWN and had a meeting with Oprah personally to pitch the show concept to her. She fell madly in love with it.”
Rosenberg said thousands of applicants from around the world had submitted DVDs and applications to be part of the show—all of which were screened, with many receiving Oprah’s personal review. “Lovetown, USA” is being produced by the BBC for OWN, and one of Rosenberg’s first tasks was to meet with producers to discuss the show’s objective.
“I went out to OWN for meetings at their offices following the talks with BBC just to talk about everything and all the ideas,” she said. “One of the assistants brought me to this back room that was filled with literally thousands of DVDs, and she said they were all people who wished they could be in my spot. She said I was the one they wanted. I almost broke into tears. It was a heavy moment for me.”
Some last-minute editing and voiceovers were still being done as Rosenberg spoke last week, but filming was essentially wrapped up earlier this summer. Rosenberg said Oprah was intimately involved in many of those shooting hours, and the local love doctor said she had an opportunity to know Oprah on a deeper level than she’d ever anticipated.
“We spent a lot of time together, and she’s just amazing,” Rosenberg said. “I knew this was a show she was personally in love with and supporting, and even off set we spent a lot of time talking and chatting and sharing. I really got to know her as an amazing person and friend.”
Rosenberg also attended a swanky dinner in New York City with Oprah earlier this summer, where the two women sat across from each other and talked life, love and television.
“She actually taught me how to do my first tequila shot,” Rosenberg said. “It was fun. She’s really a very precious, pure being, and her attention is 100 percent in the right place.”
Rosenberg is currently engaged in a sweeping press tour to promote “Lovetown, USA” and will appear on Good Morning America this week to discuss OWN’s latest endeavor.
Who is Kailen Rosenberg?
Kailen Rosenberg, owner of Love and Life Architects in Wayzata, is regarded as one of the country’s foremost experts on relationships.
She has appeared on The Today Show eight different times, Rosenberg stresses she is not a therapist or a counselor. She instead views herself as a life architect who both helps bring married couples together who have been struggling and works with single people looking for love and life satisfaction.
Rosenberg grew up on the shores of Lake Minnetonka. She says her mother was a hippie and that she spent most of her childhood with her grandparents bounding around Lake Minnetonka’s bays and inlets.
“I always knew that when I grew up I wanted to live near Lake Minnetonka,” she said. “I love the people and the energy and the environment and the water.”
Some free love advice:
Most have trouble with love at some point in their lives, and Rosenberg says learning from past experiences is key to finding future happiness.
“When it comes to love, whether simple or painful, there is always a lesson to be learned,” she said. “No matter how hard or painful, it’s what we can do to love and honor ourselves first.”
Rosenberg stresses that anyone—no matter their life stage—can find love if they allow themselves to trust their inner selves and open up to finding love in everyday interactions.
"Whether you’re grocery shopping or you’re pumping gas or standing in line for a coffee—don’t be afraid to connect with people and just say hi," she said. "Show love by being friendly. Invite it in. It really is that simple. We tend to make love too difficult, and it doesn’t need to be that way. It’s really just waiting for us to embrace it."