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ABC announces 'The Family' reality series gameplay details


By Reality TV World staff, 03/03/2003 

The choice is blood or money when members of a competitive, extended family battle one another for a million-dollar fortune on the nine-episode series, "The Family." For the first time ever, relatives are competing against each other on a reality show.

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Judging the intense competition will be a secret Board of Trustees that is made up of key members of the Household Staff, though the Family will not know this until the final episode. The new series, hosted by film/TV star and bon vivant George Hamilton, premieres TUESDAY, MARCH 4 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

This dramatic-comedy will unfold when a middle-class clan from the New York, New Jersey and Boston is suddenly thrust into the world of the super rich. They will be sequestered in a breathtaking 20,000-square-foot mansion on a 40-acre estate in Palm Beach that is outfitted with around-the-clock cameras. Their taste for the good life will be tempted as they compete in high-society challenges for cruises on luxury yachts, private jets and spectacular prizes - and, ultimately, for control of the one million-dollar fortune.

The ten contestants -- Mom, Dad, their grown son, as well as cousins from both sides of the family -- will be surrounded with all the trappings of wealth. Their every whim will be indulged around the clock, with a full-service professional staff at their beck and call -- which includes a butler, personal trainer, stylist, kitchen staff, personal secretary, housekeepers, manicurist, tennis pro and countless others -- all used to working with high-end clientele.

The identity of the secret Board of Trustees -- the judges who decide in each episode which contestants continue to compete for the million dollars and which cannot -- will remain a guarded secret from the Family members, but viewers will actually get to see their meetings. Any dismissive and disrespectful treatment will be remembered, and could be the deciding factor.

And unlike any reality series before it, "losing" relatives will stay on in the mansion until the game is over, so they must live with the consequences of their actions. This will surely test their family ties to the breaking point. Under this kind of pressure, how long could you live with your extended family?

Someone in this group will be a millionaire by the end of nine episodes. But will their family bonds survive intact? Find out the answer to the question -- Is blood thicker than money? -- when "The Family" premieres on ABC.

The series, which is the first internally created project for ABC from Buena Vista Productions, is executive-produced by Arnold Shapiro and Allison Grodner, who helmed "Big Brother" 2 and 3. Mindy Moore ("The View") is co-executive producer. Danny Salles is director. "The Family" is produced by Buena Vista Productions in association with Shapiro / Grodner Productions.

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