Leigh Anne Tuohy

'Blind Side' subject to help people dealing with foster-care and adoption in 'Family Addition'

The woman who inspired  “The Blind Side” has landed a docu-series on GMC.

From Tremendous Entertainment, “Family Addition with Leigh Anne Tuohy” follows different families each episode as they add a new member to their clan. Tuohy serves as host, provides creative vision for the show and helps renovate the family’s home to accommodate the new additions. Production will begin in April for a June premiere.

Tuohy initially gained fame through Michael Lewis’ 2006 book “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game,” which in part documented the Tuohy family adopting football player Michael Oher, who came from an impoverished background. Book was adapted into a successful 2009 feature that earned an Oscar for Sandra Bullock, who played Tuohy.

“There are so many unsung heroes in communities across America who demonstrate unconditional love and support by taking on the responsibility of fostering and then adopting children in their care,” Tuohy said. “In ‘Family Addition’ we help to break down walls if necessary to help families deal with the changes they experience and to help ensure that ultimately each child has an opportunity to have a family.”

For GMC vice chairman Brad Siegel, “Family Addition” came about serendipitously.

“Over the last two years,” Siegel told Variety, “when we started talking to producers about the kind of movie we would want, we would always say something like ‘The Blind Side.’ It’s a movie that captures the essence of faith-friendly, uplifting entertainment. It’s value-affirming. When we started getting into reality TV, we had the same spiel we were giving to producers about ‘The Blind Side.’”

When the Tuohy series opportunity presented itself to GMC, Siegel said the show felt like it was “meant to be.”

Given the box office success of “The Blind Side,” “Family Addition” is a notable get for the cabler that formerly focused on gospel music programming before expanding its lineup to original movies and series. Tuohy’s prominence in the faith community made the show a good fit with GMC’s core heartland demo.

Siegel noted that GMC is coming off a strong year of ratings gains in 2012, with its women 25-54 numbers up by 80% over 2011.

“We are leaders in the (faith-friendly, family entertainment) category,” Siegel said. “We have been doing uplifting entertainment for eight years. It continues to work for us.”

Tuohy, Colleen Needles Steward, Tim Hamilton, Shannon Keenan Demers, Marilyn Wilson and Don Epstein are exec producers of “Family Addition.”

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