Los Angeles Lakers star Lonzo Ball is the latest person to enter the crowded reality TV game with a new “docu-series” that recently premiered on Facebook. The show, titled “Ball in the Family,” garnered more than 8 million viewers to its first episode which aired on Facebook Watch, a new social media platform.
“Ball in the Family” focuses on Lonzo Ball, a former UCLA player, his two younger brothers “Gelo” and “Melo,” also budding basketball players, his parents and his grandparents.
The show is produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, veterans of the reality genre. Bunim/Murray Productions also produced MTV’s “The Real World,” which aired in 1992 and is considered to be the birth of reality TV.
“We are thrilled to work with the Ball family to share their remarkable story at a pivotal moment in their lives,” said Gil Goldschein, chairman and CEO Bunim/Murray Productions. “For fans, it will be a front-row seat to how the family deals with the sky-high expectations heaped upon it. For Bunim/Murray, participating in the launch of Facebook’s new Watch platform and contributing to its video ecosystem is exciting because it fits with our long history of pioneering new formats and using our programs to help launch platforms.”
Bunim/Murray Productions has produced a string of other reality shows such as “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” “The Life of Kylie” and “Project Runway.”
“Ball in the Family” shows Lonzo navigating his life as an NBA star, his marketing efforts promoting his father’s Big Baller Brand (BBB) shoe company and his relationship with his long-term girlfriend, Denise. Lonzo’s father, LaVar is also prominently featured in the show.
The show features his father helping his mother, Tina, with speech therapy. She suffered a stroke and is relearning how to speak. Lonzo is also seen moving into a new apartment in ritzy Marina Del Rey and the family is shown adjusting to life away from their hometown Chino Hills.
Lonzo Ball pointed out that one of the good things about the show, which was filmed over three months, is that it portrays his father in a more positive light. LaVar Ball has clashed with reporters over his opinions about basketball. LaVar is a former college basketball player and professional football player, who is determined to help his other two sons turn pro.
“A lot of people are seeing my dad as a different person,” said Ball in a telephone interview.
He said it was odd at first having to deal with a camera crew following his every move. But after a while, he forgot about them constantly being around.
“At first it was kind of weird,” said Ball. “But after we got to know them, it’s been pretty easy.”
Ball says the feedback from the show has been positive so far. He views the reality show as another way to interact with his fans.
He also added that the show is not scripted, which has been a complaint about other reality shows.