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Pete Rose reality show on TLC promises drama

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The Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced from the TV academy’s North Hollywood digs early Thursday morning, and we’ll be all over the announcements like white on rice.

But because we had to write this TV Column before the nominations are announced at 8:40 a.m. — and because the TV Column’s definitive forecast of this year’s Emmy nominations appeared here Tuesday — we decided to look across the landscape to see whether any shows are sure to be among next year’s crop of Emmy nominees.

Happily, TLC announced Wednesday that it had begun production on “Pete Rose and Kiana Kim Family Project” — a new reality series sharing the lives of baseballer Pete Rose and his fiancee, Kiana Kim.

Rose — in case you didn’t read a newspaper or watch an evening newscast or ESPN before 2004 — is the legendary former major league player and manager of whom many journalists have reported that he agreed to “permanent ineligibility” from baseball after accusations surfaced that he gambled on baseball games while playing and managing. Many press reports also said that the Baseball Hall of Fame has decreed that anyone on the game’s “permanent ineligibility list” cannot enter the hall. The issue of Rose’s possible reinstatement — and election to the Hall of Fame — is the stuff of considerable interest in some circles.

But TLC announced Wednesday that its new series is about a “happily engaged” couple, which of course prompts the question: Then why on Earth would TLC — the network of hoarders, prolific procreators, wedding obsessives and Georgetown cupcakes — be interested in a reality series about them?

Glad you asked! It’s because, TLC is pleased to report, their road to wedded bliss already has developed some sizable potholes.

Relatives of the 70-something Rose, for instance, are maybe a tad “skeptical of their relationship,” TLC notes of his engagement to the 30-something Kim.

And then there’s the geographic issue: Rose lives and works in Las Vegas, while Kim and her two kids reside in Los Angeles.

Sounds like the Practically Perfect Marriage so far — which, again, doesn’t make for much of a TLC reality series. I mean, where’s the dramatic tension?

The Silver Spring-based network is not giving up so easily:

“Pete’s legendary history with baseball further complicates their lives,” TLC persevered in its announcement.

“Kiana and her family know very little about that part of [Rose’s] past and his side of the story behind the public problems he’s had,” TLC continued.

So they, too, didn’t read a newspaper, or watch an evening newscast or ESPN before 2004? So what!? If these two crazy kids are in love, why should Rose let a little thing like that get in the way? L’amour, l’amour!

And besides, in the course of this new show’s five episodes, TLC promises that Rose is going to share with them more about his “rise to fame in — and infamous banning from — the sport he loves, lives and breathes,” so Kim and clan should be up to speed in no time!

At least, TLC hopes it works out that way. Because the network said, with confidence, that the show will focus on Rose as he considers appealing again with the commissioner to discuss his reinstatement “with the support of Kiana and her kids, his family, and his legions of diehard supporters.”

“The ‘Pete Rose and Kiana Kim Family Project’ will bring viewers along as Pete attempts to build the family together with the career he’s always wanted to have,” TLC enthused, summing things up.

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