What do you think about this? Do you think it's exploititive?
Obese family gets own reality show
TLC has big aspirations for overweight series
Ever wonder about the exact meaning of the Hollies lyric “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother?” Well, a new TLC reality show is about to find out.
The U.S. cable network has ordered a show that spotlights the ups and downs of a morbidly obese family, says The Hollywood Reporter.
Over six episodes, viewers will get a peek into the lives of a family just outside of Charlotte, N.C., comprising a 40-year-old man weighing 340 pounds; his 35-year-old wife, who’s almost 400 pounds; and their two 330- and 340-pound teenage kids, a boy and a girl.
The half-hour documentary-style series has a working title of One Big Happy Family, and comes from the senior vice-president of development and current programming of RDF USA, Mike Duffy.
"Growing up, we had a problem with obesity, and I know how it feels to be fat," said Duffy, whose father lost 200 pounds at the age of 60.
"Watching television, it occurred to me that there is a void for programming where we deal with obesity in the family unit."
The show will chronicle each family member’s story in the first-person, with emphasis on the children.
"High school is hard enough to deal with – imagine what it would be like to be morbidly obese,” he said. “This is a very loving family. They are dedicated to losing the weight because they communicate as well as love each other so much."
When asked if he thought the show was exploitive, Duffy was quick to distinguish it from fare like NBC’s competition show The Biggest Loser.
"This is not a game show where contestants have TV trainers and obesity specialists every day as they are competing for a $250,000 prize."
TLC has run programs about morbidly obese people before, including The World’s Heaviest Man Gets Married, Half Ton Mom and The 650-pound Virgin.
One Big Happy Family joins other shows focused on plus-sized people including Fox’s dating competition More to Love and E!’s Ruby, which follows a 477-pound woman in Savannah, Ga., who tries to lose weight.