New reality series ‘Shaq Vs.’

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Cleveland Cavaliers center, Shaquille O’Neal, begins filming his new reality series,”Shaq Vs.” in Pittsburgh Wednesday.  The show will feature the NBA star competing against athletes such as tennis star Serena Williams, retired boxer Oscar De La Hoya and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.

O’Neal created the show as a way for him to train for the NBA season and thought sports fans “would really want to see an athlete play another sport,” reports USA Today.  The new series premieres Aug. 18.

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Real Housewives of Atlanta is back!

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NeNe, Lisa, Kim and Sheree are back!  On July 30, the second season of the Real Housewives of Atlanta returns to the Bravo network.  This time around former member of the girl R&B group Xscape, Kandi Burruss, will replace original housewife DeShawn Snow.  Kandi is friends with housewife Lisa.

The second season will feature Sheree’s new fashion line, Kim dealing with her breakup from “Big Poppa” and NeNe’s new self-help book for women.

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‘Family Matters’ star welcomes baby boy

Jaimee Foxworth, former child star of TV series, “Family Matters,” delivered a 6 lbs., 11 oz. baby boy Friday. Foxworth and her boyfriend Michael Shaw welcomed their son Michael Douglas Shaw Jr., who was 10 days overdue, reports People.

After being written off the popular show, Foxworth,29, became a porn star and struggled with drug addiction. She recently starred in the VH1 reality series, “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.”

“This is the best day of my life,” Foxworth said. “I am so excited to be a mother and I also look forward to getting back to work.” 

She will appear in an episode of the TV One reality series, “Life After,” which will air in August.

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Real Housewives of Chicago

Think you have what it takes to be a Windy City reality housewife?  Towers Productions is now casting for a Chicago housewives series, reports the Chicago Sun-Times:

According to Towers’ casting director Becky Cattie, the hope is to find women who could give this formula ‘‘a new twist,’’ showcasing a ‘‘really unique group of ladies to represent the Midwest.’’

The production team is seeking ‘‘a dynamic group of ladies leading extraordinary lives. … modern housewives who juggle busy lives and look great doing it! No wallflowers please.’’

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Ruben Studdard to release new album in May

Our favorite velvet teddy bear, Ruben Studdard, hopes that his fourth album, “Love IS,” will connect him to all of his “American Idol” fans.  The May 19 release features production by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Studdard said his switch from J Records to Hickory Records, both distributed by SonyBMG is more in line with his fan demand for ballads sung by the reality competition winner.

“I think J Records didn’t do a good job with connecting me to my ‘American Idol’ fan base,” said Studdard to Billboard, whose 2006’s “The Return,” sold less then 240,000 copies. “I wanted to make sure we had an opportunity to make the music they want to hear, and we got that.”

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Fantasia to star in reality series

American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino will star in her own VH1 reality series.  Premiering in 2010, the show will follow the North Carolina native’s life as a singer and a young single mother.

“Fantasia’s life has been an open book, but at 24 years old, her story has just begun,” said executive producer Randy Barbato to the Hollywood Reporter. “We look forward to smashing expectations and revealing the fresh, funny and unexpected side of this one-of-a-kind country girl and superstar.”

The nine-time Grammy nominee’s autobiography, “Life is Not a Fairy Tale,” was made into a Lifetime movie, in which she played herself.

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Impeached Illinois Gov. to star in reality series

Impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich may star in the NBC reality series, “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.”  Premiering June 1, the show will feature 10 celebrities facing challenges as they adjust to living in the Costa Rican jungle for four weeks.  The contestants of the live series will also raise money for their favorite charities.

A federal judge must first approve the former governor, who faces corruption charges, leaving the country.

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