Tuesday, January 6, 2009
TLC Brings A New NASCAR Wives Show To TV
As they say in reality TV land, this could be interesting. Below is the story from Reuters and The Hollywood Reporter about a new NASCAR TV show on TLC:
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - TLC is gearing up a new reality show tracking the spouses of NASCAR drivers.
The cable network has ordered a docusoap series titled "NASCAR Wives," starring women with surnames familiar to racing fans.
TLC will air an hour of the series as a stand-alone special January 24 with a lead-in from the network's most-watched annual event, the Miss America pageant. A full season, including an undisclosed number of episodes, will follow in the spring.
The concept mixes racing with the "wives genre" peppering cable primetime, from Lifetime's drama "Army Wives" to Bravo's reality show "The Real Housewives of Orange County."
Lest it seem too male-skewing for a female-skewing genre, TLC president Eileen O'Neill said 40% of NASCAR fans are women.
Participants include Delana Harvick (wife of Kevin, who has 11 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins), Shana Mayfield (wife of Jeremy, a 15-year Sprint Cup veteran), Kelley Earnhardt (sister of Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's most popular driver) and Angie Skinner (wife of Mike, who competes in NASCAR's top three national series).
Well, of all the years to create a series like this, 2009 is a curious choice. Also interesting is the "docusoap" label put on the project by TLC. The series will be produced by The NASCAR Media Group.
"Throughout a 10-month season, the drivers' wives are the glue holding together each racing family," NASCAR Media Group COO Jay Abraham said. "This show provides an honest and emotional peek into their experience with our sport."
Several features and TV series over the years have tried to go behind the scenes in terms of both racing families and the wives of the NASCAR drivers. Most of them were short-lived.
TDP applauds The NASCAR Media Group for getting NASCAR-related programming outside of the SPEED and ESPN box. Both of those networks have essentially stopped ordering any original series and Wednesday will see the only new NMG series debut on SPEED...at noon. It does not re-air.
TLC was originally The Learning Channel, but has long since left those days and become a solid destination for all kinds of family programming. This may be the best destination for a series like this.
As the press release mentions, there will be a special stand-alone episode on January 24th and the regular series will begin airing later in the spring. TDP will keep you posted on the dates and times of the series this season.
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