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Wife Swap, first aired in 2003, is a reality television program originally produced by a British independent TV production company, RDF Media. Its US counterpart, spun-off in 2004 under the same name, is produced by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC).
The simple premise behind the show is wife/spouse swaping. Two families, usually of vastly different social classes, cultures or settings, swap wives/spouses for two weeks.
In the first week of the swap, the wives move in with their new families and adopt their very different lifestyle; the second week they try to run their new "family" their way. At the end, the two wives/spouses meet for the first time and, along with their families, discuss how they feel about the last two weeks. This is often is a subject of intense and heated debate, aggravated by a lack of a cash prize.
Wife Swap and furry
On August 2006, ever searching for new "twists" for this ongoing series, ABC associate casting producer Heather Teta turned her sights on the furry fandom in search for possible cast families for their show. Several people connected to the culture received the following email:
"Dear Sir or Madam,
I'm a Casting Producer with ABC Television and we’re looking for unique families with unique interests and lifestyles to feature on our primetime documentary-style show, Wife Swap. I’d love to feature a family of Furries on Wife Swap, ABC’s family show that allows two very different families the opportunity to experience a different lifestyle and while also teaching another family about their own family philosophy. We’d love the opportunity to present the Furry lifestyle and interest in a positive light – to meet families who participate in ConFurences and spend quality family time together at these type of events. It could be a great way to get your point of view out there and shed light on a lifestyle that not many of our viewers have yet heard of or experienced.
Please don't be confused by the title - Wife Swap is a family show on ABC primetime. The premise is simple: two moms from two very different families get the opportunity to swap lives (but not bedrooms - everyone has their own!) for a week to experience what it's like to live a different lifestyle - and to see what they can teach each other about their own! In this case we're looking to feature outgoing families with unique interests and hobbies - and all the fun that goes along with it. I would greatly appreciate you forwarding my information on to any of your family members, friends, and associates who might be interested in sharing their lives with us for a week!.
All featured families will receive a $20,000 financial honorarium - and $1000 goes to anyone who refers a family that makes it on the show! We are looking for two parent families with children (between the ages of 5 and 18) who are ready for adventure! I appreciate your help with reaching out to these great families and look forward to hearing from you soon!.
Best, Heather Teta
At the present date, there is no evidence that anyone has taken Ms. Teta up on her offer. In the event of an hypothetical furry family selection, venturing a filming or broadcasting date at this time is not possible.
Warnings about the show
An article about Wife Swap at infidelguy.com (see External link section) includes warnings about Wife Swap including:
"Having read what others on these shows have written on the subject, [..], we find that just like actors on any show, these folks are "directed" [and], given many, many, MANY suggestive kinds of prompts like, "don't let him get away with that - confront him", and so on. There's a crew of people there, in YOUR living room, DIRECTING you, WHILE doing what they can to create tension that will make the show fun for the masses to watch."
- Wife Swap - Official website