"CELEBRITY WIFE SWAP" PREMIERES TUESDAY, JANUARY 3 ON ABC
Gayle Haggard, Wife of Former Evangelical Icon Ted Haggard, Swaps Lifestyles with
Steffanie Sampson, Fiancée of Academy Award-Nominated Actor Gary Busey
"Celebrity Wife Swap" - ABC puts a new spin on the critically-acclaimed reality series "Wife Swap" by revealing the various ways that some controversial celebrities live their lives, in "Celebrity Wife Swap," premiering TUESDAY, JANUARY 3 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Each week, the mothers in two celebrity families with very different values swap lifestyles, children and homes (but not bedrooms) for one week and embark on a journey like no other. They're given the chance to see how another celebrity raises their children and deals with life in the spotlight, while allowing both couples the opportunity to re-discover why they love each other and why they decided to get together in the first place.
In the premiere episode, "Gary Busey / Ted Haggard," Steffanie Sampson, fiancée of Academy Award-nominated actor Gary Busey, swaps lives with Gayle Haggard, wife of former evangelical icon Ted Haggard.
Gary, Steffanie and their 19-month old son, Luke, live in their Hollywood Hills home. Gary, born into Christianity and Steffanie, born into Judaism, have chosen to live spiritually and believe in reincarnation. They claim to be soul mates, married in spirit, and believe they are currently spending their 32nd lifetime together. When Gary is not working, he spends his time transcribing his visions from his experiences and his life now. Steffanie is a hands-on mother who has recently returned to her career as a hypnotherapist and healer.
Steffanie travels to the Haggard home in Colorado to spend a week with Ted Haggard and his four adult children, Christy, Jonathan, Alex and Eliott. The Haggard family have struggled to overcome the humiliation that followed Ted's highly publicized encounter in 2006 with a gay masseur and accusations of drug use. The scandal forced him to resign as senior pastor of the mega-church he and Gayle had founded 22 years earlier. He was also forced to resign as head of the powerful National Association of Evangelicals and move his family from their home in Colorado Springs to Phoenix. Four years ago they were given permission by leaders of the church to return to Colorado Springs, where Haggard is currently leading a new congregation in a local middle school. Gayle wrote the book, Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made in My Darkest Hour, describing in candid detail the bumpy road she walked alongside her husband following the scandal.
Gayle and Steffanie must move into the other's homes and adopt their new celebrity family's lifestyle, no matter how different. When they arrive, they find a manual written by the departing mother, setting out the rules of the new household - how to parent, manage their social life, do house work, unwind and more. In the first part of the swap, they must abide by the resident family's set of rules. But in the second half of the week, everything changes when the new moms take charge. They introduce their own set of rules and get to run the new household their way. It's a radical shock to both celebrity families, with results that are explosive, enlightening, emotional and often very funny.
"Celebrity Wife Swap" is produced by Zodiak USA. Executive producers include Grant Mansfield, Natalka Znak, Claire O'Donohoe and Bruce Toms. It is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format, with 5.1-channel surround sound. This program carries a TV-PG parental guideline.