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Mo’Nique on Oxygen? Fat Chance

Beverly Hills, Calif. -- Oxygen will team up with comedian Mo’Nique to develop a full-figured beauty pageant set to bow in August.

The two-hour Mo’nique’s Fat Chance reality special will pit 10 plus-sized women in what’s billed as cable’s first full-figured beauty competition, according to network executives speaking at the Television Critics Association Tour here.

The contestants will compete for the title of “Ms. F.A.T (Fabulous and Thick)” in front of a panel of expert judges, including pro-basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, who will evaluate the contestants on beauty, style, poise and personality, Oxygen Media Inc. president of programming and marketing Debby Beece said.

The network also announced that it will launch in October a new true-crime series dubbed Relentless. The six-part series will profile women from diverse backgrounds who made unusual choices and often broke rules in an effort to make right unjust situations in their lives. The series is produced by Jupiter Entertainment, which also produced Snapped for Oxygen.

In addition, the network will team up with U.K. network Channel Five Broadcasting to produce a scripted comedy series, Suburban Shootout. Similar to ABC’s hit series, Desperate Housewives, the series will follow the exploits of and battles between two power-hungry suburban housewives.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.