WifeSwap is a popular ABC program in which the mothers of two families with different parenting styles trade domiciles for a week. And now the show wants to find a "superstar family of inventors" to add into the mix.
"We've never featured families of inventors on the show," says casting director Heather Teta. "Maybe Dad will be the inventor or Mom will be the inventor. Maybe we'll find families where the whole family gets involved."
The official line is that they want families to learn something from each other. "We also want people who are very passionate about the way they live and also passionate about going into someone else's home and teach the benefit of this way," Teta says.
Of course, anyone with kids who has ever dealt with another parent trying to discipline or "educate" their children knows that the experience can make for some strong conflict, and that makes for compelling programming.
She says that RDF USA, the production company that does the show for ABC, tries not to have any pre-conceived notions about types of families. "I would expect to find creative outgoing people," she says. "Of course, our minds are open. We're open to finding something new. We never have a match in mind when we're looking for these types of families." Even so, better leave the pocket protectors out of sight â€" or maybe not.
So what's in it for the families? Again, the official word is that they are looking for people who want to have the experience -- which makes sense, as anyone who was in it just for the money would probably become difficult to deal with. But there is money â€" an "honorarium" is what the network likes to call it, intended to cover the costs of the inconvenience and any wages lost during the week's swap.
But the amount is actually $20,000 for a family that appears on the show or $1,000 for someone who refers a chosen family. Given the mood in Silicon Valley at the moment, that might be tempting. And just think, it could actually pay the basic patent fees for that latest invention. If you're ready for your close-up or at least are inventing a new way to create one -- and your family has two parents and at least one child seven years of age or older living at home -- email casting producer Gaby Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.