NBC begins production on new 'The Baby Borrowers' reality series
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/13/2007
NBC has announced that begun production on an American adaptation of The Baby Borrowers, a British reality series that follows five teenage couples as they try to play house and become caring parents over the course of a month.
The six-episode series will follow the five participating couples -- ranging in age from 16 to 19 -- as they are given a "quiet suburban home" and begin to prepare for the arrival of their first baby, complete with pre-natal classes and a fake belly for the fake mom-to-be.
Five real mothers will then entrust their infants to the couples, who have to change diapers and handle other chores. Every three days, the child each couple has gets older, changing from an infant to a toddler to a pre-teen. The last task has the couples caring for an elderly grandparent, which represents what might be in-store for them.
"This series promises to be a roller coaster of emotions, laughs and empathy for people of all ages," said Craig Plestis, NBC's executive vice president of alternative programming. "Those who have survived the child-raising experience and those younger viewers who wonder what awaits them can all identify with what these overwhelmed kids are going to endure over the years, all presented in a telescopic amount of time."
Richard McKerrow, who executive produced the original BBC version of the series, will reprise that role for NBC. McKerrow toldDaily Variety the idea for The Baby Borrowers came from the blending of giving teens a wake-up call about the consequences of unplanned pregnancy and "living life on fast-forward."
"We really want the young people in the series and indeed everyone who watches to appreciate that parenting is one of the hardest and most important tasks you'll ever undertake," McKerrow told Variety. "We also want people to think carefully about when they want to have children and with whom they want to have children."
Not surprisingly, McKerrow said the due to its use of small children, The Baby Borrowers generated some U.K. controversy prior to its January premiere on the BBC's BBC3 network.
"There was initial consternation from some organizations about the notion of 'lending babies to teenagers for a reality show,'" he told Variety. "However, those criticisms were made by people before they had seen the show and without asking us about the extensive and impeccable health and safety measures put in place."