|Directed by||J. Rupert Thompson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original run||August 18, 2009– August 31, 2010|
Shaq Vs. is an American reality television show produced for ABC by Dick Clark Productions and Media Rights Capital starring American basketball star Shaquille O'Neal. It began airing on August 18, 2009.
The Washington Post has pointed out similarities to Shaq Vs. and Todd Gallagher's book "Andy Roddick Beat Me With a Frying Pan" saying the book and the show have "precisely the same premise" and that a TV show based on the book Gallagher was trying to sell was "the exact same show." TMZ later reported that Gallagher and O'Neal shared the same agent and the agent had previously shopped a virtually identical show with Gallagher. Gallagher's name appears in the credits of season 2 as a producer.
The Arizona Republic reported that in early 2008 Steve Nash, a former teammate of O'Neal's, had mentioned to O'Neal a reality show he was pursuing that would feature Nash taking on professional athletes in their own sport. O'Neal said Nash's idea was based on training with other athletes, not competing against them. Nash would not confirm the Republic's story and said, "We collaborated on parts of the show." Nash is an executive producer of the program.
Mike Goldberg, play-by-play announcer for the UFC, has served as both the show's play-by-play announcer and one of the show's two co-hosts for all of its seasons. In season 1, Pat Tomasulo, sports anchor at WGN-TV, co-hosted with Goldberg while Charissa Thompson served as the sideline reporter. In season 2, Kit Hoover served as both the co-host and sideline reporter. Shaq's total record is 2 wins, 12 losses, and a tie.
The show did not return in 2011 for a third season.
Each episode in Season 1 included preliminary challenges, banter from news conferences, and O'Neal and his rival negotiating a handicap. In each episode Shaq and his competitor do some form of charity work. Shaq mentions quite often that he loves to see the smile on the little kids' faces. The laughs come from "trash talking," but "when it comes to competing, there is no joking," O'Neal says.
|Episode number||Title||Viewers||Original airdate|
|1.01||"Shaq vs. Ben Roethlisberger"||4.337 Million||August 18, 2009|
Shaq takes on reigning Super Bowl champ Ben Roethlisberger in a quarterback challenge. Both men train at the Pittsburgh Steelers' practice facility before taking on a traditional 7-on-7 game at Ambridge High School in Ambridge, PA. Shaq started with the ball and both scored twice to tie the game at 14 points. Shaq completed a few big plays to the endzone while Roethlisberger preferred to move the ball methodically to score. However, on Shaq's ensuing possession, he threw a pass that was intercepted in the endzone, giving Roethlisberger a chance to win on the last possession. After working the ball some, Roethlisberger completed a pass to the back of the endzone, giving him the win.
|1.02||"Shaq vs. Misty & Kerri"||4.2 Million||August 25, 2009|
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, Olympic gold medalists in beach volleyball, battle Shaq and his partner, Olympic gold medalist Todd Rogers and their ceremonial coach (another Olympic gold medalist) Phil Dalhausser, in a 2-on-2 match in Hermosa Beach. The competition consisted of a best of three sets, using rally scoring, 1st to 11 points, and a regulation net for women's beach volleyball. After Shaq lost the first set, he briefly replaced his partner Todd Rogers with Kerri Walsh's husband, Casey Jennings, in order to "get in her head". Shaq also lost the second set by a score of 11-8. Early in the show Shaq gets tips from tennis player Serena Williams on the psyche of female athletes.
|1.03||"Shaq vs. Albert Pujols"||3.26 Million||September 1, 2009|
|1.04||"Shaq vs. Oscar de la Hoya"||3.85 Million||September 8, 2009|
|1.05||"Shaq vs. Michael Phelps"||4.34 Million||September 15, 2009|
Final Record: 0-5
In February 2010, ABC announced that the series will return for a second season. Season 2 would premiere on August 3, and unlike Season 1 which relied on sporting matches, Season 2 would also feature comedic non-sports competitions such as a spelling bee, dance battle, or magic act. Shaq competes against Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in a NASCAR race, track and field sprinter Tyson Gay in a race, chef and television personality Rachael Ray in a cook-off, pop musician Justin Bieber in a dance-off, Charles Barkley in a golf match, Joey Chestnut in a hot dog eating contest, national spelling bee champion Kavya Shivashankar in a spell off, Las Vegas magic duo Penn & Teller by performing classic stage-magic acts, and Shane Mosley in a boxing match.
|Episode number||Title||Viewers||Original airdate|
|2.01||"Shaq vs. Dale Earnhardt Jr. / Shaq vs. Spelling Bee Champ"||5.44 million||August 3, 2010|
Shaq heads to North Carolina to take on Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a head-to-head race at Concord Speedway. Guest appearance to start the race was Panthers Steve Smith. Also: a visit to Washington, D.C., to square off with National Spelling Bee Champion Kavya Shivashankar.
|2.02||"Shaq vs. Shane Mosley / Shaq vs. Penn and Teller"||3.86 million||August 10, 2010|
The 7-foot-1, 335-pound NBA star laces on the gloves to challenge 5-foot-9, 150-pound Shane Mosley in an exhibition boxing match in Las Vegas. Also: the big man attempts some hocus-pocus with magicians Penn and Teller. Prior to the fight, Shaq gets tips from trainer Freddie Roach.
|2.03||"Shaq vs. Rachael Ray / Shaq vs. Tyson Gay"||5.07 million||August 17, 2010|
Shaq goes shopping with Rachael Ray in New York City, where they pick up ingredients for a burger cook-off. Also: the big man gets help from Dwight Howard, Chris Johnson and DeSean Jackson in a 200-meter relay race against sprinter Tyson Gay in Los Angeles.
|2.04||"Shaq vs. Charles Barkley / Shaq vs. Competitive Eating"||3.96 million||August 24, 2010|
Shaq travels to Dana Point, CA to tee off against Charles Barkley on the St. Regis Monarch Beach golf links, then heads to Las Vegas to challenge Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Champion Joey Chestnut outside Serendipity 3.
|2.05||"Shaq vs. Justin Bieber / Shaq vs. Jimmy Kimmel"||3.97 million||August 31, 2010|
Shaq will take on Pop/R&B multi-platinum singing sensation Justin Bieber live and on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans in Orlando, FL. Before that, the two will face off against each other in various competitions, including a dance-off, bowling match, basketball game, and breath-holding contest. Shaq will then travel to Hollywood to issue a challenge to ABC’s late night host, Jimmy Kimmel, during his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
Final Record: 2-7-1
Overall Record: 2-12-1
- Levin, Gary (2009-07-20). "O'Neal courts competition on new reality show 'Shaq Vs.'". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
- "Shaq Denied Entrance to White House" - Washington Post - 7/27/09
- Boivin, Paola (August 19, 2009). "Shaq's behind-the-back move". The Arizona Republic. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010. "Shortly after O'Neal was traded to the Suns in February 2008, Nash mentioned to his new teammate a reality show he was pursuing."
- "Shaquille O'Neal rejects talk he stole Steve Nash's idea". The Toronto Star. Associated Press. August 23, 2009. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010. "At an appearance yesterday to promote the series-ending episode – in which he'll race against Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps – the Cleveland Cavaliers centre said Nash's premise was based on training with other athletes, not competing against them."
- Murray-Yavar, Ann (2009-08-03). "‘Shaq VS’ Premieres: Shaq Against Ben Roethlisberger". Comcast.
- ""SHAQ VS" PREMIERES AUGUST 3 ON ABC". theFuntonCritic.com. 2010-07-15.
- Seidman, Robert (2009-08-19). "TV Ratings Tuesday: Big Brother 11 hits highs, Hell’s Kitchen still fiery, and Shaq…". TVbytheNumbers.com.
- Seidman, Robert (2009-08-29). "Shaq VS retains 100% of its week-ago debut". TVbytheNumbers.com.
- Gorman, Bill (2009-09-02). "TV Ratings Tuesday: America’s Got Talent Helps NBC Edge Fox & Hell’s Kitchen". TVbytheNumbers.com.
- Gorman, Bill (2009-09-09). "TV Ratings Tuesday: 90210, Melrose Place Premiere Weak; Fox & Hell’s Kitchen Rule". TVbytheNumbers.com.
- Seidman, Robert (2009-09-16). "Updated TV Ratings Tuesday: The Jay Leno Show declines, Big Brother exits, Melrose slips". TVbytheNumbers.com.
- Seidman, Robert (2010-02-11). "ABC Brings Back Shaq for More Shaq Vs.". TVbytheNumbers.com.
- Okamoto, Brett (2010-07-08). "Shaquille O’Neal hits Las Vegas to take on Shane Mosley in boxing ring". Las Vegas Sun.
- Seidman, Robert (2010-05-14). ""Downfall" and "Shaq Vs." To Premiere a Week Earlier Than Originally Planned". TVbytheNumbers.com.
- Busbee, Jay (2010-07-16). "Dale Earnhardt Jr., Shaquille O'Neal race for ... something or other". Yahoo.
- Seidman, Robert (2010-08-04). "TV Ratings: ‘Hell’s Kitchen,’ & ‘MasterChef‘ Best ‘Wipeout‘ & ‘Shaq Vs.‘". TVbytheNumbers.com.
- Seidman, Robert (2010-08-11). "TV Ratings: ‘Hell’s Kitchen Finale ‘ & ‘America’s Got Talent‘ Top Tuesday Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com.
- Seidman, Robert (2010-08-18). "TV Ratings: ‘Wipeout’s Big Balls Dominate; ‘Shaq Vs.‘ Stands Taller". TVbytheNumbers.com.
- Seidman, Robert (2010-08-25). "TV Ratings: TV Ratings: ‘America’s Got Talent Rules the Night". TVbytheNumbers.com.
- Gorman, Bill (2010-09-03). "TV Ratings Tuesday: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Dips But Leads Night". TVbytheNumbers.com.