A WOMAN WHO CHASES TWISTERS SWAPS LIVES WITH A SAFETY CONSCIOUS MOM
WHOSE BOYS CAN'T GO INTO THE WOODS, ON ABC'S "WIFE SWAP"
"Heene/Martel" �A thrill-seeking family devoted to chasing tornados swaps lives with a cautious family who always put safety first, on "Wife Swap," FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Each week two very different families take part in a two-week-long challenge: The wives exchanges husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover what it's like in another woman's shoes, an experiment that often changes lives forever. (OAD 10/3/08)
The Heene family from Colorado live life on the edge. Wife Mayumi (43) and storm scientist Richard (45) take their three kids, Bradford (8), Ryo (7) and Falcon (5), out of school to go on storm chasing missions to prove Richard's theories about magnetic fields and gravity. If conditions are right, Mayumi wakes her family by shouting "Storm Approaching, Storm Approaching!" into a bullhorn. The family sleep in their clothes so they can leap out of bed and into the storm-mobile. Richard calls Mayumi his �ninja wife'; she maintains equipment, drives the storm-mobile, films tornadoes and waits with the kids while Richard jumps on his motorbike, heads into the eye of the storm and launches rockets to measure magnetic forces. At home the family are as chaotic as a twister: the kids have no table manners and throw themselves around the house, and while Richard devotes every moment to his research, he expects Mayumi to cook, clean and run the house without any help.
Meanwhile on a quiet street in Connecticut, the Martel family -- wife Karen (43), husband Jay (50) and their two kids, Max (11) and Dean (10) -- live a life of calm and safety. Dad is so committed to safety that he runs a child-proofing business devoted to identifying dangers and risks and making sure kids stay out of harm's way. With all the precautions taken to keep them safe, Max and Dean seem to be afraid of everything�"you can fall down the stairs, get cancer from the microwave, get tapeworms from sushi, and the lava lamp could explode..." The Martels conduct safety fire drills, make sure the kids wear protective gear on their bikes and pogo-sticks and never let the boys out of their sight. The atmosphere in the house is calm and serene, and Karen and Jay are equal partners.
In the first week, Karen Martel moves to Colorado and has to overcome her fears as she becomes a storm-chaser. She is shocked as the Heene kids jump off banisters and run wild, and appalled by Richard's attitude to women. Meanwhile at the Martels', Mayumi Heene sees safety gates everywhere and wonders how the family have fun. She asks the kids about their anxieties and confronts Jay about the climate of fear in his house. In the second week of the swap when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Karen tries to bring order to the Heenes' chaos, with Richard fighting her rules every step of the way, and the Martels have hold on tight as Mayumi shouts "Storm Approaching! Storm Approaching!" At the end of two weeks, will Karen Martel bring peace and order to the chaotic Heene household? And can Mayumi free the Martel kids from fear?
"Wife Swap" is an RDF USA production. It was created by Stephen Lambert and is executive-produced by Mike Gamson, Stef Wagstaffe and Michael Davies of Embassy Row. Stephen Pettinger, Neil Regan, Julie Cooper and Will Nothacker are co-executive producers. "Wife Swap" is broadcast with Spanish subtitles via secondary CC. This program carries a TV-PG,L parental guideline.