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ABC renews 'Supernanny' and 'Wife Swap' for fourth seasons


By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 01/26/2007 

ABC has announced that it has given early renewals to its Supernanny and Wife Swap reality series.  Both shows have received initial 2007-2008 season orders of thirteen episodes each, Daily Variety reported Friday.

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The early renewals (which, assuming the shows continue performing for ABC, will later be extended to full season pickups) mean that Supernanny and Wife Swap will return to the broadcast network for a fourth season. Similar to Fox's American IdolSupernanny and Wife Swap are both American adaptations of previously successful British reality programs.

Wife Swap, which centers around two families living different lifestyles swapping wives/mothers for two weeks, first premiered on September 29, 2004.  Wife Swap is produced by RDF Media Group and executive produced by Wendy Roth, Stephen Lambert and Michael Davies.

Supernanny, which follows British nanny Jo Frost's attempts to help American parents reign in their unruly children, first debuted as a midseason replacement on January 17, 2005.  Supernanny is executive produced by Nick Powell, who also created the series, as well as Craig Armstrong and Nick Emerson of Ricochet, a British independent television production company.

"It's amazing how well [Wife Swap] has done, considering that the show hasn't really been rested at all," RDF's Chris Cohen told Variety, referencing the fact that the reality series has been a "near-constant presence" on ABC's schedule with both new episodes and repeats airing in-season and during the summer.  "It's a really accessible format.  Everybody can see a little bit of themselves in the show."

Supernanny and Wife Swap have also had to deal with Nanny 911 and Trading Spouses, pre-emptive Fox knock-offs that ended up initially beating their ABC originals to the airwaves.

Variety also reported that ABC is bringing back America's Funniest Home Videos for what the network is calling its "18th season," having originally premiered in January 1990.  It was off the air between 1999 and 2001.  Tom Bergeron -- probably now better known for his Dancing with the Stars hosting duties -- will return as Videos' host.

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