Reality 'Wife' extends the family
ABC is looking to add another title to its “Wife Swap” franchise.
Without any fanfare, net last week announced plans to air the RDF Media-produced “Vacation Swap,” in which families of varying pedigrees go on vacation together. Pilot episode will air Wednesday in “Wife Swap’s” usual 10 p.m. timeslot.
In success, ABC is hoping to spin off “Vacation Swap” into its own series, most likely airing during weeks when RDF’s “Wife Swap” is taking a rest.
“Swap” is based on the RDF format “Holiday Showdown,” which airs on Blighty’s ITV and was nominated for a BAFTA award last year. ABC, however, decided it made more sense to use “swap” in the title in order to take advantage of brand awareness for “Wife Swap”.
ABC has used a similar strategy with its “Extreme Makeover” franchise, spinning off the ultrapopular “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” from the original plastic-surgery skein — even though the two skeins come from different production teams. Coming soon: “Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition.”
Fox also is going the franchise route with “Nanny 911,” greenlighting production on the back-door pilot “Marriage 911” (Daily Variety, March 7).
Joe Houlihan, Shauna Minoprio, Grant Mansfield and Michael Davies exec produce “Vacation Swap.” Original episodes of the skein air on BBC America.