VH1 drafts "Basketball Wives" docu-soap

Mon Dec 7, 2009 9:44pm EST
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By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Call it "The Real Housewives of the NBA."

VH1 is getting into the housewife docu-soap genre with the new series "Basketball Wives," which will premiere March 15.

The eight-episode half-hour series will show the wives and girlfriends of players Shaquille O'Neal, Eric Williams, Antoine Walker, Jermaine O'Neal and Udonis Haslem.

"This series will show viewers not only the glamorous side of being a celebrity wife but also the challenges and hard work that go with it," said Jeff Olde, executive vice president of programing, VH1. "You only have to look as far as the nearest headlines to see what sort of pressure they are up against to keep their relationships and their families together. These women truly have a strength formed by fire."

Shed Media is producing the series, with co-star Shaunie O'Neal, wife of Shaquille O'Neal, also earning an executive producer credit.

"Having been around these remarkable women for several years, I have always recognized that behind every NBA star is a strong, exceptional woman, one who must deal with the unique challenges of being married to the game as well as the player," Shaunie O'Neal said.

<p>Singer Brandy (L) sits in audience with Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal (R) and O'Neal's wife Shaunie (C) during the 2005 NBA All-Star Saturday Night in Denver, Colorado, February 19, 2005. REUTERS/John Gress</p>