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January 06, 2009

TLC orders 'NASCAR Wives'

Nascar 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 special Jan. 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."

"Viewers turn to TLC for an insider's view into uncommon lives, and 'NASCAR Wives' will give an unprecedented look at what happens on and off the track," TLC president Eileen O'Neill said. "NASCAR is a remarkable and respected brand to partner with, and we look forward to exploring both the heart and adrenaline that keeps its fans coming back for more."

Lest the concept seem too male-skewing for a female-skewing genre, O'Neill added that 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).

The series is produced by NASCAR Media Group for TLC.

"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."


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