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What if you crossed 'Real Housewives' with the Mafia? Jennifer Graziano talks about 'Mob Wives'

June 13, 2011 |  1:44 pm

Graziano "The stuff the movies are made about -- the furs, the money, the parties, the respect -- it's all great, but then at any given time the other shoe could drop," says Jennifer Graziano, creator and executive producer of VH1's reality series "Mob Wives," and daughter of the alleged consigliere of New York's Bonanno crime family, a man who is currently in prison.

The reality show, which ends its first season June 26, follows four women with personal ties to organized crime, including Graziano's childhood friend Karen Gravano (the daughter of FBI informant Sammy "The Bull" Gravano) and her own sister, Renee Graziano. Their tangled personal histories add authenticity to the show's alcohol-fueled cat fights -- and sometimes put Jennifer Graziano in an awkward position. 

While filming the season, Renee's ex-husband (and thus Jennifer's former brother-in-law) was arrested in a big raid: "Renee called me at 5 a.m. in the morning, hysterical, crying. I'm like, 'Let me put you on hold,'" Jennifer said, then she mimicked dialing the phone. "'Get the cameras to Renee's house right now!' I felt like such a bitch."

Read more about how Graziano created the show -- and convinced Bob and Harvey Weinstein to produce it -- in Meredith Blake's Sunday feature.

RELATED:

VH1 teams with Weinstein Co. for "Mob Wives"

Photo: Jennifer Graziano. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

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