Ryan Seacrest, Bravo Team for Show About Young, Rich Persians in L.A.

7:30 AM PST 07/20/2011 by Lacey Rose
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

The cable network will offer viewers a window into the opulent world of Persian-Americans the way MTV has done with a largely Italian-American cast on "Jersey Shore."

Much as MTV did with 20 and 30-something Italian-Americans on the Jersey Shore, Bravo will offer its viewers a peak into the world of young and moneyed Persian-Americans living in Los Angeles.

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The docu-series, tentatively titled Shahs of Sunset, centers on the opulent lives of young adults who together navigate their post-college lives, careers, families and traditions. The project, which will feature family gatherings as well as Real Housewives-esque shopping sprees on Rodeo Drive, hails from Ryan Seacrest Productions, and will count Seacrest as an executive producer.

Bravo can only hope the show will take off the way the once-controversial Jersey Shore has for MTV. In its third season, Shore lured 7.9 million viewers --and an even more impressive 4.3 million in the coveted 18 to 34 demo-- according to the Nielsen Company. Garnering even a quarter of that would make it a hit on Bravo.

News of another Persian-based show, The Persian Version, from Shore producers 495 Production surfaced last spring, with a casting call seeking applicants who "appear younger than 30 and are outrageous, outspoken and a proud Persian-American."

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"The group of friends featured in our show is colorful, affluent and fun," said Bravo's executive vice president of original programming and development Andy Cohen. "Ryan and his team understand what our viewers want to see and when they brought us this group we responded immediately."

Added Seacrest, "The series will offer rich characters and relatable storylines about everyday life -- love, work, friendship and family -- steeped in a diverse culture, which is wildly entertaining and fun.” 

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The news comes half a year after the $30 billion merger of Bravo-parent NBCUniversal and Comcast Entertainment --where the Keeping Up with the Kardashians producer has long had a deal-- was complete. Already, the American Idol host has four iterations of the Kardashian franchise, The Dance Scene and E! News on sister network E!. Elsewhere on the dial, his producer credits include ABC's Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and TLC's I Kid with Brad Garrett, a contemporary spin on Bill Cosby's Kids Say the Darndest Things.

As of spring, Seacrest's RSP had some 20 shows in various stages of development, many of them with NBCUniversal networks. As Seacrest told The Hollywood Reporter in an April cover story, as a long-time Comcast talent he went into the merger with NBCU saying, ‘Hey, what do you got? What can we do? Yes. Let’s go.”

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Shahs will join Top Chef, Million Dollar Decorators and the red-hot Real Housewives franchise on the Bravo schedule. In its most recent quarter, the female-focused cable network has been averaging nearly 1 million viewers --more than half of which are in the key 18 to 49 demo-- in prime-time. 

Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose

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