Cabler hoping series becomes 'Housewives'-like franchise

VH1 is happily married to the mob.

Cabler has ordered 10 episodes of spinoff “Mob Wives: Chicago,” which is set to air in the spring. Skein is in pre-production and settling in on its core four cast members.

The second season of freshman hit “Mob Wives” will debut Jan. 1, and the net is increasing its episode order from 10 to 12.

VH1 is counting on the popular series to become a “Real Housewives”-like franchise and help it break out of the ratings slump it has experienced for the last several years. The inaugural “Mob Wives” ran from April through June and averaged 1.3 million viewers per episode.

Jennifer Graziano is the creator of “Mob Wives,” produced by the Weinstein Co., Electus, Left/Right and JustJenn Prods.

VH1 programming topper Jeff Olde said it’s not too soon for a spinoff of the original series, and an oversaturation of “Mob Wives” isn’t a concern.

“Both shows can do well. We wouldn’t be doing the new show if we didn’t believe in the characters and stories. ‘Chicago’ feels like a different story,” Olde told Variety. “It gives me security knowing that groundwork has already been laid.”

“This is the perfect city to be the first spinoff for the franchise,” said Jimmy Fox, a “Wives” exec producer and head of creative development at Electus. “What Chicago has meant to mob history makes for a great setting.”

After working on the film side for many years, TWC president of television Meryl Poster said the shift to the smallscreen has been rewarding. “It was getting harder to make movies,” Poster explained. “There are so many great stories told on TV and, with this opportunity, you get to play in all kinds of different worlds.”

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