show_name = Wife Swap
runtime = 60 minutes
starring = Various couples
country = UK
January 1 2003
last_aired = Present
website = http://www.channel4.com/life/microsites/W/wifeswap/index.html
imdb_id = 0392948
tv_com_id = 23898
"Wife Swap" is a
reality televisionprogramme, produced by UK independent TV production company RDF Mediaand created by Stephen Lambert. It first aired in 2003on the UK's Channel 4, and since 2004an American version has also aired on the ABC network. On February 28 2008ABC announced that it had renewed "Wife Swap" through the 2008-2009 Season. [ [http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?date=02/28/08&id=20080228abc02 Breaking News - ABC ANNOUNCES EARLY PICK-UPS OF ALTERNATIVE SERIES FOR 2008-2009 SEASON | TheFutonCritic.com] ] It is now in syndication in the U.S on the Lifetime Channel.
Two families, usually from vastly different
social classes and lifestyles, swap wives/mothers (and sometimes husbands) for two weeks. In fact, the show will usually deliberately swap wives with extreme polar opposite lifestyles, such as a dramatically messy wife swapping with a fastidiously neat one. Though using a phrase from the swinging lifestyle, couples participating in the show do not share a bed with the "swapped" spouse while "swapping" homes.
During the first week, the new wife must adhere to the exact same rules and lifestyle of the wife she is replacing. Each wife leaves a house manual which explains her role in the family and the duties she holds. This almost always determines what rules the wives will apply at the "rules change ceremony."
During the second week, the new wives are allowed to establish their own rules, and their new families must adhere to these new household rules. It usually takes a while for the families to adjust to this policy.
At the end of the two weeks, the two couples all meet together for the first time, and along with their husbands, discuss how they feel about the two weeks. This often descends into personal insults and has degenerated into violence at least twice.
In 2006 on the American version, a new twist was added whereby the wife can bring in someone to help her (a family member, a friend) to help on one day of the swap. The twist was discontinued early in the third season and only appeared in a few episodes.
Localised versions of Wife Swap were produced by
Viasatand aired in Croatia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Latviaand Lithuania. Viasat was the first company in the world to adapt the format locally. The first adaptation aired in Denmark in Fall 2003. A version in Serbiaairs on RTV Pink, called "Menjam ženu", which premiered in July 2006. Also, Chilepremiered its own version of Wife Swap called "¿Quién cambia a quién? Intercambio de Esposas" (Who changes whom?: Wife Swap) on March 14. The show is produced by Canal 13and hosted by Cecilia Bolocco. The Croatian version airs on RTL Televizija.There is also a Dutch and a Belgian version of wife swap. In The Netherlandsit's called "Jouw Vrouw Mijn Vrouw" (Your wife My wife) and in Belgiumit's called "De Nieuwe Mama" (The New Mum). There is also Czech Version, hosted by NOVA TV, called Výměna Manželek (Wife Swap.)In Germany Wife Swap is called Frauentauschand premiered July 14 2003on RTL II. In America there are two versions of the show; "Wife Swap" which is nearly identicle to the British one, and " Trading Spouses", which had two episodes per trade and also awarded each wife $50,000 to allocate to the other family as they saw fit.
Celebrity Wife Swap
There have been some celebrity versions of "Wife Swap" produced on the UK version of the show:
Charles Ingramand his wife Diana swapped with Jade Goodyof "Big Brother" and her then-partner Jeff Brazier.
pundit John McCririckand his wife Jenny swapped with politician Edwina Currieand her husband John.
Paul Danielsand his wife Debbie McGeeswapped with journalist and radio host Vanessa Feltzand her fiancé Ben Ofoedu.
* 80's pop-singer and
Celebrity Big Brotherstar Pete Burnsand his partner Michael Simpson swapped with former soccer player Neil Ruddockand his partner Leah Newman.
Freddie Starrand his wife Donna swapped with Samantha Foxand her partner Myra Strattan.
* 80's pop-singer
Sinittaand her husband Andy swapped with former Coronation Streetstar Bruce Jonesand his wife Sandra.
* Soul singer
Alexander O'Nealand his wife Cynthia swapped with wine critic, journalist and television personality Jilly Gooldenand her husband Paul.
Other Special Editions
Channel 4had aired 2 international versions of Wife Swap, one where a British family had changed lifestyles with a German family, and then one where a British changed lifestyles with an Australian family.
Channel 4had aired a version where two British families who happened to be living in Spainat the time swapped with one another
A spin-off, "Boss Swap", aired as a series in the UK. A pilot for a U.S. series aired on ABC, but the series never got commissioned. "Husband Swap" and "Vacation Swap" pilots were also aired in the U.S., but were not ordered to series. At least once, however, a husband and a live-in boyfriend swapped while the women stayed with their families.
*"Wife Swap" was spoofed in a
2006episode of " The Simpsons", " Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife", which was written by and starring Ricky Gervais. It was also spoofed in an episode of " Hope & Faith" with Wynonna Juddguest starring.
*In 2007, Richard Thomas'
BBC Twoseries " Kombat Opera Presents" included a musical parody of the American version of "Wife Swap", under the title "Spouse Change".
*In the Vicar of Dibley, Alice Tinker mentions going on the programme.
*An episode of the "
Chappelle Show" aired a parody of the show " Trading Spaces" titled "Trading Spouses". This was filmed before the show aired. The skit featured a format similar to the show, but with sexual themes.
United States, the Fox networkairs another show entitled " Trading Spouses", with a near identical format to "Wife Swap". In 2004, the RDF Media sued Fox for copyright infringementfor reproducing the "Wife Swap" format without their permission. [ [http://entertainment.tv.yahoo.com/entnews/va/20041215/110317512400.html "Wife Swap" Producers Sue Fox TV Over "Copycat"] from Yahoo! News]
In 2004, ABC showcased their upcoming "Wife Swap" show including projections of its popularity. Weeks before the show's debut, FOX introduced "Trading Spouses". [ [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117907017?categoryid=14&cs=1 "Spouse swap a fit for Fox: Net snipes at Alphabet with "Trading Spouses"] article from "Variety"] The producers of "Wife Swap",
RDF Media, claimed FOX stole their concept, [ [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04352/427976.stm "Wife Swap" sues "Trading Spouses"] article from post-gazette.com] while FOX argued that TV shows have always borrowed from one another and that FOX simply beat ABC to delivery.Fact|date=February 2007
In her 2003 appearance on the programme,
Lizzy Bardsleywas shown to be living entirely on state benefits, which she continued to do without declaring payments she subsequently received for media work. Prosecuted and found guilty in 2005, she was sentenced to 80 hours community service and ordered to repay £4,879 in overpaid benefits. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/4286756.stm BBC NEWS | England | Manchester | Reality TV star cheated benefits ] ] In February 2007 she was convicted of child cruelty charges, receiving an eight month suspended sentenceand a two year supervision order. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/6385975.stm BBC NEWS | England | Manchester | Wife Swap Lizzy escapes jail term ] ]
In November 2005, Jeffrey Bedford, a participant on the show, sued ABC network for trading his
wifefor a gayman. He accused ABC of being dishonest, not allowing him contact with his wife, and making him miss college classes. He claims that when he ceased participating with the production of the show, ABC threatened that it would not tell him his wife's whereabouts and would not pay for his wife's return home. He is suing for over USD$10,000,000.00. [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20051124/ai_n15879594 "'Wife Swap' sued over gay guest" article] from " The Independent"] The producers of the show and ABC have dismissed the allegations and claim that his argument was simply homophobia.Fact|date=December 2007
Frauentausch(German version of "Wife Swap")*
Holiday Showdown(like "Wife Swap", but with holidays)
* [http://www.channel4.com/wifeswap "Wife Swap" UK] at Channel4.com
* [http://www.keshet-tv.com/program.aspx?ProgID=2035 "Wife Swap" Israel] at keshet-tv.com
* [http://abc.go.com/primetime/wifeswap/index?pn=index "Wife Swap" USA] at abc.com
* [http://www.rtl2.de/533.html "Frauentausch" Germany] at rtl2.de
* [http://www.channel4.com/bossswap "Boss Swap" UK] at channel4.com
* [http://www.rdfmedia.com RDF Media]
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