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Giuliana DePandi & Bill Rancic Aren't Afraid of Reality Couple's Curse

07/31/2009 at 08:30 AM EDT

Giuliana DePandi & Bill Rancic Aren't Afraid of Reality Couple's Curse
Bill Rancic and Giuliana DePandi
donna ward/ABACA
Jon and Kate Gosselin, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, Travis Barker and Shanna Moakler: Reality TV has a solid track record when it comes to breaking up couples who let cameras into their homes.

So what on earth made newlyweds Giuliana DePandi Rancic and Bill Rancic think it would be a good idea to let cameras follow them in their first year as newlyweds in a long-distance relationship for their Style network series, Giuliana & Bill?

"If you are strong enough as a couple, reality shows can be a good thing for the relationship," Giuliani said Thursday at the Television Critics Association panel in Pasadena. "We shot one episode, and it was tough. I said, 'You said that about me?' He said, 'You said that about me?' I know him better now because you are forced to be in certain situations where you learn about your spouse."

Bill, who lives in Chicago, where his real estate business is based, says, "In life, you have to take risks. This is one more adventure in life. We had a lot of fun doing it."

In a way, the couple also credits reality TV with bringing them together. Giuliana, an L.A.-based E! correspondent, first met Rancic when she was dating actor Jerry O'Connell.

"I was at NBC up fronts promoting The Apprentice," Rancic recalls, "[O'Connell] was on an NBC show, and he jokingly said, 'I'd introduce you to my girlfriend but I'm afraid the two of you would run off together.' "

Admits Giuliana, "I used to watch The Apprentice all the time and I thought Bill was a fox. That was that, we didn't see each other for years, and then we saw each other and 45 minutes after the cameras stopped rolling, we were still talking."

Though the couple has maintained a long-distance relationship since their wedding in September 2007, they admit that eventually, one of them will have to relocate.

"What's going to change that is family and kids," says Giuliana. "When kids come into the picture, that'll be a whole different thing, and we'll have to deal with it like any couple does."

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