Shaq returns to ABC

Network gives second season order to 'Vs.'

Alphabet net has given a second season order to “Shaq Vs.,” its summer reality series starring basketball star Shaquille O’Neal.

Media Rights Capital and Dick Clark Prods. are behind the unscripted series, and will produce six episodes of the show.

Shaq Vs.” stars O’Neal as he faces off against top athletes in their respective fields. In season one, O’Neal faced off against the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger in football, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in beach volleyball, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols in baseball, Oscar de la Hoya in boxing and Michael Phelps in swimming.

Despite being given a handicap advantage, O’Neal wound up losing each week.

According to MRC’s Joe Hipps, the producers plan to take O’Neal out of sports in some segments this year — placing him in other competitions such as spelling bees or competitive eating. But the shows will still mostly focus on sports.

“This is our third show with ABC but our first pickup,” said MRC’s Modi Wiczyk. “Everyone’s happy with the show, and that’s been incredibly encouraging.”

Hipps said the producers are already mapping out the production in order to work around O’Neal’s basketball schedule. The show also already has a list of top-tier athletes who expressed interest last year in appearing on the show.

Dick Clark Prods.’ Orly Adelson, Will Staeger and Barry Adelman are exec producers, along with O’Neal, Scott Messick, Perry Rogers and Steve Nash. (Nash reportedly received the exec producer credit after protesting that O’Neal took the original idea for the show from him.)

MRC’s other TV credits include HBO’s “The Ricky Gervais Show” and “The Life and Times of Tim,” as well as the upcoming “House of Cards,” from David Fincher.

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