A new Hulu Original by ABC News will focus on the potentially catastrophic allegations against Jen Shah, a star of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” who was arrested and indicted for fraud and money laundering in March. Shah, who is facing up to 30 years in prison, has been accused of running a telemarketing scheme that defrauded older people by selling “lead lists” for nonexistent business opportunities.
The program, called “The Housewife & the Shah Shocker,” follows the success of “The Housewife & the Hustler,” a Hulu Original in June that focused on the allegations against Erika and Tom Girardi of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
“The Housewife & the Shah Shocker” will premiere on Nov. 29. Variety is exclusively premiering the trailer below.
According to the description of “The Housewife & the Shah Shocker,” it delves into Shah’s “alleged involvement in a long-running telemarketing scheme that preyed on the elderly” and “features interviews with friend of the ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ series Dana Wilkey, as well as some who knew Shah, including her childhood classmate Beth Hahne and her aunt Lehua Vincent. In a rare interview, Shah’s former designer Koa Johnson opens up about his brief time working for her.”
Also featured will be “alleged victims Penny Jo Pucket and Marie Walkere,” who “reveal how they were duped by several companies involved in the alleged scam and the damage that wreaked havoc in their lives.”
Perhaps most appealing, given how complicated the accusations against Shah are, is the promise that the special will include law enforcement officials breaking down “the inner workings of the alleged scam.”
“The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” premiered in September, and Shah’s arrest — after being teased in the debut episode to great effect — has been the centerpiece of recent episodes. The Nov. 14 episode, which illustrated the immediate aftermath of Shah’s arrest as the rest of the cast digested/reveled in it, hit a series high of 823,000 total viewers and a .3 in the 18 to 49 demographic in Nielsen’s Live + Same Day ratings — even though Shah wasn’t in the episode at all.
The fallout from Shah’s legal miseries will surely be the focus of the rest of the show’s season. Even in the lead-up to her dramatic arrest, her alleged co-conspirator Stuart Smith has been featured in scenes with her in which nothing happened, other than to show their close relationship. Shah herself is a divisive figure — her tagline this season is “The only thing I’m guilty of is being Shah-mazing” — and in the Nov. 7 episode in which she was arrested, she seemed to have no difficulty whatsoever lying to the other women about why she suddenly couldn’t go on a cast trip to Colorado. She bailed immediately after receiving a call, and said with a straight face that her husband was in the hospital with internal bleeding. Law enforcement arrived minutes later, swarming the cast’s bus.
Both Shah and Smith have pleaded not guilty.
“The Housewife & the Shah Shocker” is produced for Hulu by ABC News Studios. Roxanna Sherwood is senior executive producer, and Loen Kelley serves as senior producer.