In VIBE's October/November issue VH1 "Mob Wives" star Jennifer Graziano
ACCORDING TO COSA NOSTRA LORE, ONCE YOU JOIN THE
MAFIA, THERE’S NO WAY OUT. YET VH1’S MOB WIVES—
A GANGLAND FLIP ON ESTROGEN-POWERED REALITY
TV—MANAGES A SIMILARLY INESCAPABLE HOLD ON
VIEWERS. THE UNSCRIPTED SERIES CHRONICLES A
GROUP OF FRIENDS WHOSE LOVED ONES ARE LOCKED
UP FOR MOB-RELATED CRIMES. “WHAT SEPARATES US
FROM OTHER [UNSCRIPTED] SHOWS IS THE WOMEN ALL
GREW UP IN THE SAME CIRCLE [AND WERE] RAISED IN
A PARTICULAR LIFESTYLE,” SAYS JENNIFER GRAZIANO,
FIRST-TIME PRODUCER OF THE DRAMA-PACKED RATINGS
BEAST. “THEY HAVE A LOT OF HEARTACHE.” THE MASSIVE
SUCCESS OF THE DOCU-SOAP HAS BEEN BITTERSWEET
FOR THE NYU ALUM, WHO, DESPITE BACKLASH FROM
CRITICS, CRIME VICTIMS AND FAMILY MEMBERS, IS
LOOKING TO FILM A PHILLY- OR CHICAGO-BASED SPIN-
OFF. HERE, THE FORMER SONY MUSIC A&R (GRAZIANO
HELPED SIGN LYFE JENNINGS) EXPLAINS HOW SHE
KEEPS THE TV UNDERWORLD SPINNING.
—WILLIAM E. KETCHUM
OFF THE CUFF
I’ve always been into writing, [but] Mob Wives
morphed into its own entity once I decided to
go unscripted. The scripted show was more
so the backstory of Karen [Gravano] and
myself growing up, what we went through. It’s
past versus present.
I’m in the ﬁ eld every day with the girls. I work
on editing. I worked in marketing for ﬁ ve
years, so I sit in VH1 marketing meetings. I’m
If an intern has something to say, listen. You
never know where the next big idea will come
CHECK THE RÉSUMÉ
There are a lot of similarities [between] making
an album and a TV show. You’re building
something. Matching songs and producers;
dealing with personalities, celebs and talent;
massaging situations and putting out ﬁ res.
WORD IS BOND
Never give empty promises.
I’m not intimidated by men. I really don’t think
it’s made an effect on my business, thus far.
If they have a ﬁ ght, I stay out of it. It’s difﬁ cult,
having [friends/cast members] call me
constantly. I don’t choose sides. Of course I
have opinions, but why fuel the ﬁ re?
We’re very careful about what we say related
to the Mob. I’m watchful over the girls with
that. We weren’t really talking about the men,
but how the lifestyle affected the women in
the past and moving forward.
THE RIGHT PEOPLE
You can have a great reality show concept, but
if you don’t have larger-than-life characters
that are willing to let the world look into their
lives, it’s not going anywhere.