Ryan Seacrest Is No. 1 on THR's Reality Power List
Jeff Olde has a theory about his network's enduring appeal as a reality-show hub. "I feel like VH1 is everyone's really fun best friend," he says. "People come to us to have a really good time and to laugh. We take something that's part of the pop-culture universe and take you deep inside of it." Olde's approach was a winner with one of the music network's newer entries in the reality canon, Basketball Wives, whose second-season finale in March attracted 2.3 million viewers, making it the highest-rated telecast on VH1 in more than two years. Olde, who lives in Los Angeles, also got America hooked on Celebrity Rehab and Sober House, and is hotly anticipating his next glimpse inside the private lives of better halves, Mob Wives, a collaboration with Harvey Weinstein that bows this month. "We went into the pitch and I wondered, 'Alright, what is this going to be?' " says the die-hard American Idol fan. "But the lines that were coming out of these women's mouths … it was stuff that no writer could ever dream up. I walked out and said, 'We can't not do this show.' "