How to Get Your Own Family Reality TV Show

Friday, December 4th, 2009. Filed under: Mommy Deerest

John and Kate

The perks in having a part in the reality television institution are unparalleled. The money is huge. The sponsors (a lifetime supply of diapers!) are a given. Your name will be forever attached to a quirky, alliterated catch-phrase. In a pinch, your new publicist can watch the kids. And say goodbye to home videos, because it is done for you, by professionals no less. With multiple cameras and flattering lighting. Now is the time to strike! With eight sure-fire techniques to choose from, your family will rule the prime-time airwaves in no time.

Be famous already

Few things on TV are more exhilarating than watching the inner-workings of celebrity families sit down for a family dinner. Extra points for being exceedingly dysfunctional, having a fun accent, and working through a serious illness. Family TV shows to beat: The Osbournes, The Holgan Family

Be exceedingly fertile

Bonus kids equals bonus fun. The more buns you’ve had come out of your oven, the better. Keep in mind the reality TV market is flooded with massive families, so it will be hard to make your mark. Remember Octo-mom? She popped out eight at once, and she barely made it on Extra, let alone her own TLC production. Why? A little family called the Gosslins. Been there, done that. Should have gone for 10, Octo-mom. Family TV shows to beat: Jon & Kate Plus 8, 18 Kids & Counting!

Be incredibly wealthy and let your kids do whatever they want on your dime

Middle America likes nothing better than seeing their upper-class equivalents burn money on frivolous expenditures. One part sickening, two parts addicting, watching a fourteen-year-old screw ball with braces drop more money than you make in a year on a car he won’t be able to drive for two years has never felt so good. Family TV shows to beat: Rich Girls, My Super-Sweet Sixteen, the Real Housewives series

Be physically different than the average American

Really short? Really fat? No arms? Conjoined? Seeing a family overcome the hardships of day-to-day life when the odds are stacked against them is inspiring, moving, and TV gold. Extra points if your family is a mixture of “average” and “different,” and if there are bigoted prejudices against you. Family TV show to beat: Little People Big World

Be needy of professional assistance

Can’t handle your kids? No problem! There are tons of professionals (generally straight-laced British women) who will sweep into your home and whip everyone into shape. Sure, you are admitting that you are failing as a parent, but that’s okay. Sampa understands. Family TV shows to beat: SuperNanny, Nanny 911

Be willing to compete with the rest of your family for a cash prize

Lie. Cheat. Beguile. If you have no problem knocking the members of your extended family on the ground and crushing them with your consuming desire for riches and prime-time fame… well. There just might be a spot for you on reality TV. Family TV show to beat: The Family

Be proactive in getting the rest of your family “out there”

You need to get your name out into the air waves and make sure that everyone can hear it. The same way that farming families in the early twentieth century had their hordes of children work out in the fields, you need to be sure that every member of your reality TV family is pulling their own weight. Even the youngsters. The more circles your family is running in, the more options you will have to find an angle for your pilot. Family TV show to beat: Tots and Tiaras

Be aggressive at getting attention

A reality TV show about your family is not going to walk up to you and fall into your lap. You are going to have to work at it, and exploit every opportunity you can to get in front of those cameras. Because even if you fail at getting a full-season series, you’ll at least be on the news a couple of times. And in a magazine. Which is almost as good… right? Family attention schemes to beat: Balloon-Boy, Octo-mom

Family reality TV shows the Sampa family would watch

The Brangelina Famgelina
Scientology and Slumber Parties
Pregnant and Penniless
Adopt-o-family

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