Monday, August 18, 2008
Phelps' mom a hit, NBC to give own reality show
Michael Phelps accomplished the unimaginable on Saturday night by winning his eighth gold medal in eight attempts. He has become one of the most recognizable and successful Olympic athletes of all time. NBC has made the swimmer the centerpiece of their coverage. However, he is not the only Phelps that NBC is interested in.
The network was inundated with email and phone calls applauding the coverage of Mrs. Phelps cheering and embracing her son from the stands inside the Water Cube. So much so that NBC has decided to give Mrs. Phelps her own reality TV show.
The show, Medaling Mom, will debut on NBC this fall on Thursday nights at 8:30pm ET. Mrs. Phelps will be shown attending swim meets all over the country, at all levels, where she will sit in the stands and critique and confront cheering mothers of the swimmers.
"I think it's a great opportunity. I will basically get into the mothers' business and tell them how they are doing as 'swim moms,'" said mother Phelps.
One stipulation in the contract states that she will not be filmed at her son's meets. "I will not be filmed trying to pass judgment on other parents at my son's meets. I won't stoop that low," said mother Phelps.
However, the contract does call for Mrs Phelps to wear a giant foam finger to all meets. She must also wear one of Michael's eight gold medals to every meet she attends. And at least once during a meet, must point at the gold medal with the giant finger.
Michael appeared happy for his mother and didn't think she was stealing attention. "I think it's great. I was just happy they changed the original format of the show."
Phelps is referring to the idea producers first pitched to his mother. It called for her to travel the country attending meets and working a stand where fans would take a blindfolded taste test of Coke and Pepsi.