CBS reveals the families competing on 'There Goes the Neighborhood'
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/23/2009
CBS has revealed the identities of the eight families competing on There Goes the Neighborhood, a new reality series that will feature the families battling against each other on their own property behind a 20-foot wall.
There Goes the Neighborhood will begin with the eight families having their suburban Kennesaw, GA homes almost completely cut-off from the outside world by a massive 20-foot wall erected around their houses. In addition, the families will also have "virtually no electricity and no ability to text-message, watch television or surf the Internet," according to CBS.
During each episode, the families will compete against each other in various challenges. One family will be eliminated each episode until only one group remains -- claiming the $250,000 grand prize.
Matt Rogers, a third-season American Idol finalist who has previously hosted Discovery Channel's Really Big Things, will serve as host.
- The Bussiere Family, which consist of 45-year-old dad Tom, 42-year-old mom Susan, 7-year-old daughter Elise, 5-year-old son Jake, and 74-year-old grandmother Marcia
Tom and Susan have been married for nine years. The Bussiere family moved to the Neighborhood from Boston, MA, five years ago. Tom graduated with a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Bridgewater State College and is currently an insurance agent. Susan received her bachelor's degree from Emmanuel College and was a product marketing engineer from 1998-2003. She is currently a homemaker, Girl Scout Leader and President of the P.T.A. Tom and Susan enjoy running and have completed many road races together. Susan also ran the Boston Marathon. Elise is bright and is enrolled in her school's gifted program. She likes to play soccer and tennis, and she also takes ballet, tap and jazz lessons. Jake is also a good student who enjoys playing on the computer and completing homework books. His favorite sport is baseball and he also enjoys skateboarding. Since Susan suffered a stroke in 2008 (she has since recovered and leads a normal life), her mother, Marcia "Mimi" Flerra, has lived with the Bussiere Family. She enjoys gardening, walking, and playing board games, including Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit Scrabble and Balderdash. The family has 2 cats, 2 fish, and 1 guinea pig.
- The DeGirolamo Family, which consists of 46-year-old dad Jeff, 44-year-old mom Lisa, 16-year-old son Greg, and 12-year-old son Chris
Jeff and Lisa are both originally from New Jersey. They have been married for 18 years and have lived in the Neighborhood for 12 years. Jeff was a Catholic school altar boy and was a member of the U.S. Army from 1981-83. He is currently employed as a contractor, usually working as a commercial painter and handyman. His neighbors refer to him as "Biggy." An avid tennis player, he is affiliated with USTA Tennis and ALTA Tennis. He's also on the local Dart Team (part-time), and enjoys playing flag football, golf and poker. Lisa received her business degree from Seton Hall University and currently works as a client service manager for a software company. She is an avid tennis player who coaches other women in the neighborhood. Greg currently attends North Cobb High School where he is interested in engineering. He enjoys making scale models of rockets and cars and playing lacrosse and tennis. Chris currently attends Awtrey Middle School. His nickname is "Mr. Personality," and is considered the "class clown" at school, which sometimes gets him into trouble with his teachers. Like his brother, he also enjoys playing lacrosse and tennis.
- The Johnston Family, which consists of 51-year-old dad Cameron, 44-year-old mom Regina, 11-year-old daughter Carliegh, and 25-year-old niece Theresa
Cameron and Regina met while they both lived in Pennsylvania where he worked as the head chef and she the dining room manager at a fine dining restaurant. They have been married for 11 years and have lived in the Neighborhood for the last six years. He has been a stay-at-home father since 2007 and coaches the Legacy Park Flag Football Youth League. Regina has been unemployed for the past 7 months. She was formerly employed as an IT executive for a major Internet company. She most recently worked as the information technology manager for a sub-prime credit card company. Theresa (Regina's her maternal aunt) is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and currently works as a freelance artist producing fine art paintings and sculpture. Presently, she is studying to be an aesthetician due to her interest in being a make-up artist. Carliegh just finished 5th grade at Big Shanty Elementary School and is very active at her church parish. She is most proud of having gotten straight A's on her report card. They have one dog and two cats.
- The Mullennix/Goff/Hatcher Family, which consists of 41-year-old mom Clarissa "Chris" Mullennix, 42-year-old mom Renee Hatcher, 18-year-old son Nathanael Mullennix, and 17-year-old son Keith Goff
The Mullennix family has lived in this neighborhood for the past 11 years. Chris, who grew up in Indiana, works at an accounting firm and enjoys a good movie, Sunday brunches with friends, the outdoors and hanging out with neighbors. As a testament to her compassion and good will she unselfishly and willingly took on the responsibility of raising her brother's sons, Keith and Jeremy Goff (who is not participating), approximately 16 years ago after a freak camping accident, which killed both parents. Nathanael has grown up in Georgia; he was born at Cobb General Hospital in Austell. He is a graduate of North Cobb High School will be attending The University of Georgia this fall. Nathanael is Chris' biological son from a 15-year marriage, which ended in 2000. Considered to be a gifted child, he was enrolled in Advanced Placement courses and was a member of the Japanese and Chess Clubs. He enjoys video games, playing guitar and wants to teach English in Japan upon graduating from college. Keith has grown up in Georgia but was born at Margaret Mary Community Hospital in Batesville, Indiana. He will attend North Cobb High School as a senior this fall. Keith is the youngest of the three boys by only months. He enjoys working out, playing lacrosse and playing video games. Chris' partner, Renee Hatcher, entered the picture a little over a year ago and all three children have welcomed her into the family. Renee grew up in Cobb County, Georgia. She is considered the objective one in the family and helps to keep everyone in line. She also enjoys a good movie, Sunday brunches, the outdoors and is an animal lover. Renee and Nathanael are the only two participating in the show that were born and raised in Georgia. Completing the family makeup are three dogs (all Labradors) and five cats.
- The Nelson Family, which consists of 47-year-old dad Chris, 47-year-old mom Mickey, 19-year-old son Christian, 15-year-old son Branson, and 7-year-old son Jackson
The Nelson family has lived in the Neighborhood for nine years after moving from South Florida. Chris and Mickey have been married for 23 years. He has an economics degree from Florida State University. During his spare time, he is the Youth Sports Coach for football in Legacy Park. Both he and Mickey are members of the USTA and ALTA Tennis Leagues. Mickey grew up in Florida and also attended Florida State before getting married. They both enjoy boating, salt water fishing and family time with the children. Christian was in gifted and AP courses during high school where he also played basketball and was the captain of the lacrosse team. He attended college for one year at Kennesaw University and was on the President's List (he also played intramural basketball). He plans to attend the University of Georgia this fall. Branson just completed 9th grade at North Cobb High School where he is on the Honor Roll and plays lacrosse. He is a straight A student and attends advanced classes. Jackson just completed the first grade at Kennesaw Elementary School and currently wants to be an oceanographer. He enjoys video games and swimming. The family has one cat.
- The Schindler Family, which consists of 40-year-old dad David, 39-year-old mom Christina, 12-year-old son Noah, 10-year-old son Emmett, and 6-year-old daughter Olivia
The Schindler's have been married for 13 years and the family has lived in the Neighborhood for 10 years. The trauma of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake in California was a deciding factor for them to move back east. David is Jewish and Christina is Christian. As a result, the whole family is active at their local temple while also celebrating Christian holidays, as well. David has an M.S. in Communications from Syracuse University. He enjoys playing squash, racquetball, poker and fantasy sports. Christina has a Master's degree in elementary education (she graduated high school in Tokyo, Japan). She enjoys hiking, running and making greeting cards in her spare time. The entire family enjoys karaoke nights. Noah will enter the 7th grade at Awtrey Middle School this fall. He is currently preparing for his bar mitzvah. A straight A student, Noah is involved in acting, improv class and performing in school plays. He enjoys basketball, baseball, football, biking and playing his guitar. Emmett will enter the 5th grade at Big Shanty Intermediate School this fall. He is also an aspiring young actor who enjoys baseball, basketball and video games. Daughter Olivia will enter the 1st grade at Kennesaw Elementary this fall. She wants to be a song writer/singer. She enjoys gymnastics and baseball (she's the only girl on her team and struts her stuff with a pink helmet and bat). Daddy is her hero because "he chases me up the stairs." They have one dog named Henry.
- The Southey Family, which consists of 38-year-old mom Laurie and 15-year-old daughter Haley
The Southey's moved to the Neighborhood about 2 1/2 years ago. Laurie has been raising Haley as a single parent for most of her life, although she maintains a friendly relationship with her ex-husband. Laurie enjoys hiking, playing tennis and is a member of the ALTA and USDA Tennis Associations. Haley will begin the 10th grade at North Cobb High School this fall where she is a straight A student in the magnet program for international studies and is a member of the Interact Club and the Environment Club. She is also on the tumbling and cheerleading teams (she's won the Spirit Award two years in a row), enjoys cooking, scrapbooking and helping the "underdog." They have one dog and one cat.
- The Upshaw Family, which consists of 42-year-old dad Ricardo, 42-year-old mom Therese, 21-year-old son Christopher, and 18-year-old daughter Alexus
The Upshaw family has lived in the Neighborhood for 10 years. Ricardo and Therese were both raised in Ohio. Ricardo is one of nine children. He played football in high school and then again in college where he received his bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Cincinnati. Therese is the youngest of eight children. In high school, she played basketball and softball. She attended Kennesaw State University where she received her bachelor's degree in communications. She enjoys playing tennis and kickball. Their son Christopher ran track in high school and is now attending North Metro Technical College. He intends to transfer to either Kennesaw State University or Georgia State to receive his bachelor's degree in communications. He enjoys football, basketball, camping, golf, tennis, wakeboarding, jet skiing and video games. Their daughter Alexus finished high school with honors. She participated in cheerleading, tumbling, ballet and jazz. Her cheerleading team won the Nationals in 2006. She has been accepted to Georgia State University where she plans to study genetics and psychology. The family also has a dog named Sugar.