ABC orders 'Here Come the Newlyweds' reality competition series
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/24/2007
The relationships of recently married couples can be rocky, and ABC is apparently ready to add fuel to the fire.
ABC has begun production on Here Come the Newlyweds, Daily Varietyreported Tuesday. The new six-episode reality competition series will square-off seven recently married couples against one another for the opportunity to claim an "ever-escalating" cash prize, according to Variety.
Jay and Tony Show production company founders Jay Blumenfield and Tony Marsh -- who previously produced ABC's controversial and never broadcast Welcome to the Neighborhood reality series in 2005 -- are executive producing the show.
"You see romantic comedies in the movies and in scripted TV but not in reality," Marsh told Variety. "We wanted to do a competition that would feel more fun and light and stay away from the backstabbing elements that have crept into so many shows. There's so much real comedy and insight and often poignancy when you really examine male-female relationships."
Here Come the Newlyweds will reportedly feature seven recently wed couples with different backgrounds, including high school sweethearts; an arranged marriage; and a pair of divorcees who are each starting their fourth marriage. Each episode of the show will feature a series of challenges in which all the couples compete together or in teams of two, according to Variety, with the goal being to boost the show's final cash prize for the winner.
"All the competitions are designed to elicit the comic moments you have in every marriage," Blumenfield told Variety.
While the challenges may mimic humorous moments from married life, Variety reported they're also designed to test each couples' relationship, with one husband and wife eliminated each week.
"I wouldn't call it completely 'feel good,'" Blumenfield told Variety. "There's tension in a marriage, and there's a lot of humor that's been mined over the years in the mundane arguments between a husband and a wife. But you won't get that dirty feeling you sometimes get in reality TV."
Here Come the Newlyweds is a production of AFN Prods. in association with Warner Horizon Television, which Marsh and Blumenfield inked a seven-figure, two-year deal with last October.
Welcome to the Neighborhood, which featured seven diverse families competing to win a beautiful dream home with neighbors deciding who wins the competition, had originally been scheduled to premiere in July 2005. However ABC pulled the series a few weeks before its premiere, citing subject matter "sensitivity." While Fox Reality wanted to broadcast the shelved series and ABC still considered airing it throughout the summer, Welcome to the Neighborhood never made it to on-air.