At the outset of VH1‘s TCA session on its new Nicole Richie reality series, TV critics watched a clip in which she is driven up to Daddy’s estate because, she explains to Lionel, she does not know how to parallel park. That seems a bit thin, given that Daddy’s estate has a driveway about the size of Rhode Island, but that’s reality TV for you. Lionel announces he will teach Nicole how to parallel park, using a trash can to represent one car parked at a curb, and cutout of himself as the other car. Nicole “struggles” to parallel park her car, taking out Cardboard Lionel several times before finally getting it right. And the press watching the clip learn that her new-model Mercedes doesn’t come with auto-parallel-park-assist — at least, not for purposes of VH1 and Candidly Nicole‘s version of “reality.” Mercedes reps: Direct your question/comment to or — they’re listed as the press contacts for the show.

Anyway, after she masters parallel parking, Lionel congratulates his daughter with a hug. “You would never know I had two DUIs,” Nicole replies. “Yeah — we can get that cleaned up too,” Dad says.

Kicking off the questions, one TV critic suggested — in the nicest way possible — that Candidly Nicole appears to be not so much “candid” as a “sketch show.” Nicole explains patiently that “reality” TV is not so black and white as it once was, and that what’s real about this show is that she’s learning “real information,” adding, “I love to learn.” Ending the segment with the DUI gag “was just me speaking from the heart” and was “actually the most real” moment in the episode. There was no discussion with the producers, or her father, in advance about saying that line, Nicole said; “That’s just in my soul,” she smiled.

Nicole Richie“Isn’t it all from your heart?” a reporter asked. “It is all from my heart,” Nicole responded , adding, “She was asking about the DUI line, and that wasn’t rehearsed.”

“So, some of it’s rehearsed?” the journalist asked.

Later, Nicole got asked about something Sting said to the press the other day, to the effect that his kids would not inherit his fortune because it was an albatross; the TV critic wondered if she agreed with Sting’s philosophy. Loaded question.

She answered, diplomaticaly, “That doesn’t seem crazy to me, and I completely understand where he’s coming from, wanting his kids to earn their own money. As a whole, you value something the most when you’ve earned it,” she said, adding meaningfully, “that’s the only thing I can say about that.”

Other things the press learned from Candid Nicole:

Doing the Fox reality series The Simple Life was “so much fun.”

Nicole’s web series served as a good pilot for this new TV series.

Her husband is not in the new series, nor are her children.  Her dad is, she said, because he’s a desperate celebrity who cannot stand to be away from a camera, and her sister is featured in several episodes “because she’s 15 and cute.”

Last March, Richie’s #CandidlyNicole, made its migration from Twitter to the web to TV when VH1 snagged the franchise for a reality series, with an eight-episode order.  Richie’s was voted one of the ‘best Twitter feeds” by Time magazine, the network noted this morning, and she has more than 4 million followers. The show will detail her daily “adventures and give insight into her decisions on style, relationships, her work life and her journey to adulthood,” the network said back then of the thirtysomething Richie.