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VH1's 'Basketball Wives' reality show: Good or bad timing?

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VH1 has ordered eight episodes of a new reality show called Basketball Wives that will reveal what it’s like to be married to, dating, or done with an NBA player. Participants include Jennifer Williams (wife of Eric Williams), Evelyn Lozada (ex-fiancé of Antoine Walker), Mesha O’Neal (wife of Jermaine O’Neal), Royce Reed (mother of Dwight Howard’s son), Faith Rain (Udonis Haslem’s girlfriend) and Shaunie O’Neal (wife of Shaquille O’Neal), who will also serve as an executive producer. Production on the series, which premieres in March 2010, begins this month. “The wives of star athletes form one of the most unique and exclusive groups of women in the world,” VH1 original programming exec Jeff Olde says in the release. “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. We are thrilled that they are allowing us into their lives to see things through their lens and understand why their friendships and bonds make them a force to be reckoned with.”

This sounds like good timing on paper — doesn’t it feel like we’ll still be talking about Tiger Woods in three months? — but I have to wonder if the massive amount of detail we’re getting on Woods’ alleged transgressions somehow makes this show seem less titillating and like a consolation prize. Though I’d love to know what Woods’ wife is going through, I hope we never find out. I doubt anything these women would allow to be filmed would come close to that.

Will you tune in to see the lives these women lead? “In order to protect it, they have to deal with the jealousies and dramas of living in — and staying in — the inner circle,” the release says. “They must also keep the groupies at bay while their husbands and boyfriends are traveling on the road for over six months of the year playing ball, all the while wondering if their spouses are being faithful to them.” Translation: their paranoia levels are at an all-time high, which could make for good TV. Or will you pass?

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