Never let it be said that Ryan Seacrest isn’t all about bridging cultural gaps. As one of TV’s top reality producers, he’s already done wonders for the image of Armenians in America via his monstrously successful Kardashian franchise on E! (four shows and counting). His ABC series Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution erased stereotypes about bad British food. So what’s next for this would-be Hillary Clinton of the airwaves? Vulture hears Bravo has greenlit a new Seacrest-produced docusoap called Shahs of Sunset that, as its name implies, will focus on the young and rich Persian-American community of Los Angeles.
The network has given a series order to the concept, though there’s no word yet on a premiere date. Bravo programmer/host Andy Cohen says the featured players in the tentatively titled Shahs will be “colorful, affluent, and fun” (as opposed to the monochromatic, blue-collar killjoys who normally populate the network’s prime-time lineup). While Seacrest has become one of the most important program suppliers to longtime home E! Entertainment Television, Shahs marks the first time the producer has worked with Bravo, which became a corporate cousin of E! following NBCUniversal’s acquisition by Comcast. By the way, Shahs isn’t the first attempt at bringing Persian-Americans to the small screen via a reality show. A little over a year ago, Jersey Shore producer Sallyann Salsano began casting for Persian Version, a Shore-like soap that was to have starred Persian youth. Looks like Seacrest may have won this round.