Monday, July 20, 2009
The fact that Shaquille O'Neal hasn't starred in his own reality show at this point, is a complete travesty. ABC is planning on changing all that when it will air "Shaq Vs." this August. O'Neal has already lined up competitions against athletes in their own Sport with the likes of Michael Phelps, Ben Roethlisberger and Albert Pujols, and is looking to add Lance Armstrong to the list. Via USA Today....
Filming begins Wednesday in Pittsburgh, where Shaq takes on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in football. Future hour-long episodes will pit him against Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, retired boxer Oscar De La Hoya, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, tennis pro Serena Williams and beach volleyball Olympians Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh.Up until now, I've thought every reality show possibility had been explored, but apparently I was wrong. This seems like a light-hearted and definitely fun idea, and I can't imagine anyone who would choose to skip Shaq acting like a fool with other famous athletes. Great work, ABC!
O'Neal, 37, says he also hopes to book pal Lance Armstrong for a cycling competition once the Tour de France ends. The series is set to premiere Aug. 18 and will air Tuesdays at 9 ET/PT.
O'Neal says he came up with the idea as a fun way to help train for the NBA season and figured sports fans "would really want to see an athlete play another sport." He knew most of the athletes and recruited some of them on Twitter.
ABC was immediately interested. "He's very playful, almost everyone can relate to him. He has a fun sort of childish persona, and at the same time he's a superstar," says John Saade, co-chief of ABC's reality programming, says of the 7-foot-1 O'Neal. "Our real hope is you come for the absurdity but you stay for the sport."
O'Neal courts competition on new reality show 'Shaq Vs.' (USA Today)
Shaq Steps Into the Reality TV Realm (WFNY)