Bay Area residents don’t have to channel surf to get their reality television fix. Richmond natives Darius Johnson and his wife Christia’n Chambers-Johnson have successfully produced the Bay Area’s first-ever “wives” show entitled “The Bay Wives,” which debuted Thursday, Jan. 31 on Comcast 78.
Johnson is CEO of Flac City Paparazzi, co-creator and director of the show. He can be frequently found behind the camera shooting footage of the show’s colorful cast. Mrs. Chambers-Johnson is the executive producer and co-creator of the show, which chronicles the lives of nine local women.
“People will see the struggle and independent hustle of women who are students, wives and mothers. It’s all about real life people in their everyday hustle,” according to Johnson, who says his show differs from other reality television shows, which are largely scripted and far from reality.
“The Bay Wives is a documented reality show. Everything we do is real. We wanted to show people who come from nothing and put their blood, sweat and tears into what they do,” he said.
Johnson is a graduate of De Anza High School in Pinole. He served in the Navy for seven years before returning to the Bay Area in 2008. He works part-time as a life-skills educator at Kennedy High in Richmond and Elmhurst Community Prep in Oakland.
Although he is responsible for producing the show, it was Mrs. Johnson who was instrumental in picking the cast. She is a graduate of El Cerrito High School.
“We put together a diverse cast of varied social, ethnic backgrounds and ages. We want to show everyday women who are just like the viewers. We want to put the Bay on the map in a positive way,” she said.
Financial constraints coupled with the recent theft of more than 90 percent of the show’s footage posed major challenges and could have resulted in the postponement of the show, but the Johnsons persevered.
They were determined to realize their commitment to produce a high-quality independent TV series that captures the struggles of the Bay Wives’ cast—a far cry from the glitz and glamour of beloved reality T.V. celebrities.
“The Bay Wives” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Comcast 78 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on Comcast 78 and 26. For more information visit www.thebaywives.wix.com.
Kia Croom is a contributing writer for the Post News Group.