'Wall Street Wives' Gets Down to Business with Auditions

Wall Street wivesDevon Fleming's casting call for Wall Street Wives attracted the quick attention that producers relish. Hundreds of women responded. Media outlets, including The New York Times, weighed in on the show's concept.

Now Fleming has to deliver. She allowed The Price of Fame to attend a recent audition at a Manhattan bank. It was part look-see and part brainstorm session. The reality show is billed as a "docu-series" featuring four or five women married to or divorced from Wall Street players, some humbled by the financial crisis. Fleming said she might explore other options, too -- perhaps a talk show or expert intervention a la Nanny 911. She hopes to complete casting by Aug. 15, then finalize the package she will present to networks and production companies. Making the pilot episode herself isn't out of the question either, she said.

Wall street casting callA cross-section of women showed up for the tryout. While hair-pulling and ax-grinding tend to drive vixen verite vehicles such as the Real Housewives franchise, Fleming said she wanted to create an empowering vibe with strong women. "I want it to be the anti-Housewives," she said.

Fleming conceded that the audience she called Main Street would also enjoy the comeuppance of those who profited on Wall Street. That's in the mix, too.

"As a culture, we need to have honest and more vulnerable conversations about money," said one of the candidates, Melissa Matthes, a professor at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. "Is this the best format to do that? I don't know." Her husband had a hedge fund that tanked. Their reversal of fortune wasn't devastating, she said, but it did make the parents of four rethink their relationship to money.

No Shortage of Possible Storylines


Tamara Hunter, an executive representative at the Swedish bank Handelsbanken, told her tale of a marriage strained by the market meltdown. Her husband lost his job at Bank of America (BAC) in 2009 and is still unemployed. Now he's the homemaker, and neither is happy with the arrangement, she said. Asked if her spouse might be uncomfortable with having their tension played out on television, she replied, "I'll have to have that conversation with my husband."

Yvonne Evelyn, a mother of three from Huntington, N.Y., billed herself as the CEO of her house, while her husband devoted 15-hour days to credit derivatives for Morgan Stanley (MS). What sets them apart, she said, is that they are black, which is still a rarity on Wall Street. "I add a compelling component," she said. She makes no apologies for striving after growing up poor in Jamaica. "My story is how much more can I get," she said. "I want to give my kids everything."

A few latecomers took their spots at the conference table, among them Lisa Najarian, a mother of two and owner of Loopie Doop's cookies. Her husband, Pete, is a former NFL linebacker who operates a company called OptionMonster. "I'm not getting a boob job for the show," she snickered. And there was real estate agent Jennifer Walsh. Walsh's husband moved into her $1300-a-month one-bedroom apartment after he sold his $3 million Greenwich, Conn., home when the market soured and his previous marriage ended.

Fleming, a 49-year-old New Canaan, Conn., mother of three who's married to a Deutsche Bank wealth manager, had no shortage of story lines. (She plans to cast herself as well.) Finding the right blend was the challenge, she said. She also had an alternative title at the ready: Married to the Market.

In the unpredictable world of high finance and reality TV, a girl has to be prepared.





Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Professional Vs Do it Yourself Investing

Should you get advice or DYI?

View Course »

Income Investing

Grow your nest-egg.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

16 Comments

Filter by:
Daphinytsno

Wasn't this one of the reasons for the FRENCH REVOLUTION? The rich getting richer and flaunting it while the poor got poorer sicker and were being treated inhumane, worse than rats or roaches..... The top 2 to 3 percent should really "THINK" about their actions and look around, the streets are filled with people living in tents, Americans and many are soldiers, millions are starving all over the country . ,Most of those people are so rich that they or their children or their children's children will not be able to spend all the money they have that sits around doing nothing.... If they all came together and decided on their own to pool some of their extra cash and sell one of their 4 or 5 plus homes and use that money to help Americans, they could end up being heroes and saviors instead of hated as they are.. I don't mean starting yet another charity that helps people in OTHER COUNTRIES, I mean helping Americans ... America and Americans have helped others enough, it is time to keep that money here at home and helping your fellow Americans....You could make such a difference in so many peoples lives, you could literally change the dynamics of many cities ...I know its just hopeful thinking but I have always believed Americans have the biggest hearts of any other people they just need to refocus and stop looking overseas when all this time the people who need your generosity most are right here in the U.S.A. ....... Thanks ........:)

August 01 2011 at 7:48 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Daphinytsno's comment
hmoseman

Absolutely!!

August 01 2011 at 6:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Simply Me

PEOPLE !! THEIR IS SO MUCH GARBAGE ON TV DO THE PEOPLE NEED MORE? NO QUALITY AT ALL ON TV JUST DUMMY DOWN PROGRAMS FOR THE DUMMY DOWNERS WALL STREET WIVES WILL BE A JUST RIGHT UP THAT ALLEY ALSO. COMMON SENSE / GOOD MORAL JUDGEMENT HAS BEEN DEAD FOR SOME TIME.

August 01 2011 at 12:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
hmoseman

Just what we need, another story about a woman who wants to get as much as she can "for her children". This economy has destroyed people's lives!!! We need to spread the wealth, not hoard it!! How about a show about that kind of woman! I, too am reading more since this onslaught of "reality" TV!!

July 31 2011 at 3:55 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Ellie

Just what we need! MORE housewives who have even MORE $$$$$$$ than the ones we see on Bravo. Wall Street wives would be able to show us how the CEO's they're married to, buy yachts, beach homes , 3rd, 4th and 5th homes in different parts of the country. ALL ON THE BACKS OF THE MIDDLE CLASS AND THE WORKING POOR AND THE POOR. How absolutely disgusting and totally useless. These bimbo's all have too much time and too much money to even be of any interest to those of us out here in the REAL WORLD.

July 31 2011 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mgarbin103

Same old hollywood metality.. if you show people crap all the time then the crap becomes normal... yuck

July 30 2011 at 10:39 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mgarbin103's comment
Simply Me

mgarbin103, yeah your right its very ugly. Dummy down programing at its finest.

August 01 2011 at 12:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Devon Fleming

Guys-as long as you are taking the time to write a comment- then there are 'eyeballs' to justify shows.. I hate most Reality Shows TOO- as long as your REALITY is BAD then so would be your REALITY TV..

I'm the creator of THIS show and hoping to produce something interesting and intelligent- oh thats everytime i suggest that then you all rant that it wont be interesting- ha!

July 30 2011 at 8:39 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Devon Fleming's comment
Matty Malone

I just tried to ping you on your blog, but was denied by some anti-spam mechanism. I just followed you on twitter, please follow me back and I will DM you.

@mattymalone

Thanks!

MM

July 30 2011 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Condley

Do we get to see some naked pictures?

July 30 2011 at 1:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Artie

Oh boy...more drivel and mindless tripe.....just want the country needs!!! Truly, only a dim wit "bot" would be interested i a show abou the wives of these unconscionably greedy and irresponsible scum bags??? What a world!!!! It's these same Wall Street "wise guys" that are LARGELY responsible for the global economic mess we're experiencing right now. And so, your telling me I'll get to watch how the wives blow the insane bonuses these POS a-holes paid themselves for ruiining the economy of the country and maybe the planet? I think the guy who came up with this program concept should be taken out back and shot in the back of the head along with these Wall Street S.O.B.s. Spare us the wives.

July 29 2011 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
its1luckycat

Why do the networks keep giving us this garbage. I am watching less tv and reading more, so that is a good thing!

July 29 2011 at 5:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mesager42

Ah, finally a group of greedy women truly worth bashing - especially if one is married to a banker.

Yes, Americans hate Wall Street due to how we all had to make sacrifices to bail out their greedy selflish, red-lining, subprime mortgage-enabling asses. Now we get to see the wives behind their husbands money-grubbing empires. Can't wait to blast their lifestyles via tweets while other Americans have their homes going into foreclosure, having to live in shelters, and shop in thrift stores.

My followers on Twitter already know that I am a real Middle Class housewife of the Washington D.C. region. I tell it like it is about the region - the commutes, the crime, the wildlife running amok due to suburban spraw, miliitary bases, and other problems. I am also a military retiree. Yes, Wall Street wives, do make my day! I love verbal target practice!

July 29 2011 at 1:08 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply