On Wednesday, Bravo announced they’re working with Ryan Seacrest’s production company to create a Persian version of the "Jersey Shore." The series is currently being called Shahs of Sunset and will follow a group of young Persian-American friends who" juggle living and working in Los Angeles while balancing the demands of their families and traditions."
It’s just the latest show to highlight underrepresented people of color. But the jury’s still out on whether or not that representation is useful.
"The Persian-American community in Los Angeles is a perfect fit for Bravo’s next great docu-series. The group of friends featured in our show are colorful, affluent, and fun," Andy Cohen, Bravo’s executive vice president of original programming, said in a statement. "Ryan and his team understand what our viewers want to see and when they brought us this group we responded immediately. There’s not a show like it on TV."
Los Angeles is home to an estimated 800,000 people of Persian ancestry; it is the largest such population outside of Iran. In cities like Beverly Hills, Iranians now account for 20 percent of the population and 40 percent of the students in the schools.
The per capita income of Iranian-Americans is 50 percent higher than the national average, and the show definitely picks up on that according to the current description:
"From over-the-top shopping sprees on Rodeo Drive to traditional family feasts at home, Shahs of Sunset celebrates the opulent lifestyle of a group of young, friends who have grown up together in Los Angeles and are now trying to balance their active social lives with their up-and-coming careers. Armed with chromed-out cars, logo-ridden purses and designer outfits, they’ve got it and they’re not afraid to flaunt it"
It’s unclear whether the stars of the show will live under one roof, similar to the "Jersey Shore" or if they’ll have their separate lives that intersect for the sake of cameras, like Bravo’s other hit reality series, The Real Housewives.
Seacrest will serve as the executive producer for the series. His company is also responsible for Keeping Up with the Kardashians and the ABC reality series Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.
TLC is also currently in production for a show called "All-American Muslim" that will follow the lives of five Muslim American families living in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit that has a large Muslim population. The show is scheduled to premiere late November.
In April 2010, R&B singer and actor Tyrese Gibson’s announced his production company had sealed the deal with a network to produce a Korean-American version of "Jersey Shore," but there have been no updates in over a year.