Newest reality TV wives could come from the oilfield

A reality television show developer has traveled from California to Texas in hopes of spinning the “real housewives” concept into an oilfield drama.

Matt Stroud, a development producer for CrashHat Entertainment, released a casting call last month for a show about “the daily grind of oil field workers and their families.” He said he already has received applications from 400 wives eager to share their lives on the small screen.

The casting release calls for women who can show “the real American pride that goes hand-in-hand with being an oil field wife.”

Stroud, who works from Santa Monica, Calif., said he was unfamiliar with the unique lives of oilfield families until he was introduced to the roughneck culture during a recent visit to Texas.

“Someone used the phrase ‘oilfield trash’ and I grabbed onto that. It had this idea of people with regional pride, ‘We’re oil field trash and proud of it,’” he said. “It felt very marketable in terms of what would work for television.”

Oilfield jobs often require two-week shifts, with workers cycling between 14 days in the field and 14 days at home. Their wives have created a vibrant online community, with websites devoted to their lifestyles, Pinterest boards pinned with pink hardhats, and Facebook community pages where tens of thousands of wives swap advice about surviving their husbands’ long stays away from home.

Stroud said wives from across the country have sent him applications, from Alaska to Pennsylvania to California.

“The lifestyles are diverse. There are people who have a lot of money and people who don’t,” he said. “I can’t even tell you what the show is going to look like.”

Stroud hasn’t developed any shows that have aired and the oilfield wives idea has yet to find a network. He said he’ll be casting through Jan. 9 and hopes to identify 20 possible characters, whom he’ll use to float the idea to networks. If a network signs on, they’ll make final decisions on the show’s direction and characters, he said.

It wouldn’t be the first reality show from the oilfield. Trutv’s Black Gold, based in Midland, launched in 2008 and is in its fifth season.