A FAMILY WHO DOTE ON THEIR HIP-HOP ARTIST SON
SWAP WITH A MONSTER-OBSESSED FAMILY WHO HUNT
THE SWAMP APE, ON ABC'S "WIFE SWAP"
"Parker/Robinson" - A family who put all their energy into only one of their five children because he is a "hip-hop star" -- but bypass the other four -- swap with a family in which the parents are obsessed with tracking the "Swamp Ape," as opposed to spending time with their only son, on "Wife Swap," FRIDAY, JULY 30 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Each week two very contradictory families from across the country participate in a two-week-long challenge: The wives exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover daily life in another woman's shoes. This astonishing experiment repeatedly changes lives and redefines families.
Step aside and get ready to meet nine-year-old hip hop artist Lil' Chris Parker. "Momager" Andrea Parker and her husband, Robert, manage and produce their son's career, from performances to autograph signings to publicizing him on billboards. Andrea admits that she spends a lot of time working and investing money in her kids because "parents that don't put their kids first are selfish." But for Andrea and Robert, the bulk of their time and efforts go toward launching Lil' Chris's career. Alpheus (15), Lataris (14), Allyson (14) and Kaylon (4) also spend time helping Lil' Chris in his career, though their interests are generally overlooked by Robert and Andrea. Although the Parkers are a blended family, Andrea maintains that you'd never know it because she doesn't believe in treating the kids differently� everyone's part of the family. She and Robert focus on making their kids happy as opposed to enforcing house rules and chores. As a result, the kids run wild.
Far from the music world of Memphis is the geeky Robinson family. Rob and Tracy are cryptozoologists, otherwise known as monster hunters, and have a lifelong quest to find the "Swamp Ape" of Florida. Tracy doesn't care about fashion, preferring neutral colors and simple clothing. Rob's son and Tracy's stepson, Josh (17), more often than not is alone in his room. Rob and Tracy spend almost all of their time together hunting the Swamp Ape, cruising on Rob's hovercraft or taking care of Rob's action figure collection, and seem to have little time for Josh. Rob believes he should be able to enjoy his life, as opposed to living it for anyone else, including Josh, whom he calls "socially delayed," and Tracy admits she treats Josh like a stepson instead of as her own son.
In the first week, Tracy arrives at the Parker home and notices the car covered with Lil' Chris' face. After Tracy changes her drab clothes into something trendy, the family head out to one of Lil' Chris' performances. Tracy must act as his "momager" and get him ready for the show, but as she sits with Lil' Chris, she feels that he's being forced to perform and that he doesn't really enjoy it. She also spends time talking to the other kids about how they feel about all the attention constantly being lavished on Lil' Chris, and is pleasantly surprised to learn they're all interested in nature and animals and would very much love to spend more time outside� even hunting the Swamp Ape. Back in Florida, Andrea has a very different experience with Rob and Josh; she hates the outdoors, but spends an evening with Rob hunting the Swamp Ape, using chimp urine packets to attract the monster. Andrea cannot understand Rob's obsession with a fictitious creature when his own son is sitting at home alone, and when she speaks to Josh, she learns that he's sad he has no relationship with his parents and would love for them to spend more time with him.
In the second week of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Tracy puts all hip-hop activities aside and sets the kids to chores and monster hunting. When she takes the family out to the countryside for the hunt, Robert doesn't understand the point, but the kids have a great
time. Things don't go over that easily in Florida: Andrea sets some rules for Rob, ordering him to sell his action figures and his hovercraft in order to pay for Josh's hip-hop career. When he refuses, he's sent to Josh's room to sit alone. After a few arguments and experiencing sitting alone while Andrea and Josh spend time together, Rob realizes that being alone is hard and that he isn't spending enough time with his son. After two weeks in another home, can Tracy Robinson convince the Parkers that hunting the Swamp Ape and monsters can be a fun, family activity? And can Andrea Parker show the Robinsons that investing time in their children is better than any hobby?
"Wife Swap" is an RDF USA production. It was created by Stephen Lambert and is executive-produced by Mike Gamson and Michael Davies of Embassy Row ("Who Wants to be a Millionaire"). Neil Regan, Julie Cooper, Will Nothacker and Ed Simpson are co-executive producers. A TV parental guideline will be assigned closer to airdate.