A "LAUGHING YOGA" PAIR OF PARENTS WHOSE LIVES REVOLVE
AROUND THEIR SPOILED SON SWAP LIVES WITH A NO-NONSENSE
FAMILY OF SIX LIVING ON A DAIRY FARM, ON ABC'S "WIFE SWAP"
"Petersen/Vaughn" � An eccentric pair of yoga instructors who have raised their son to be the king of the household swap with a hard working, no-nonsense family of six, on "Wife Swap," FRIDAY, JUNE (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Each week two very contradictory families from across the country participate in a two-week-long challenge: The wives exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover daily life in another woman's shoes. This astonishing experiment repeatedly changes lives and redefines families. (Rebroadcast. OAD: 2/27/09)
In California's northern Bay area, the Petersons are an unconventional family of three. Parents Susan and David teach laughing yoga while raising their only child, 10 year-old Victor. Victor is the head of the household, creates rules for his friends, has no actual responsibilities and bosses his parents around on a daily basis. David, although the father of the home, is a self-proclaimed freak who is proud to be nuts and prides himself on wearing a tiara, as well as tie-dyed clothing. Susan and David operate on the supposition that Victor's happiness is everything. Their non-traditional lifestyle is reflected in their attitude that husband or wife, male or female, everyone plays an equal role at home and in society.
In a more remote part of California, in an isolated town with a population of 50, resides the Vaughn family. Justin, the father, is a dairy farmer who rarely sees his four children or wife, and is often more concerned with his cows than his own family. Beth, the mother and disciplinarian of the home, is strict and teaches her children that life is not fun, but involves hard work and sacrifice; she's content not to be a friend to her kids, but rather the authoritarian. Ryan (9), Zachary (7), Marissa (6) and Grace (4) live alone on their farm, 40 miles from school, and have multiple chores that take up most of their free time. The kids are sad to live such an isolated existence, but parents Justin and Beth maintain that life isn't always fun and happy.
In the first week, Susan leaves her husband, son and laughing yoga for a more traditional role as a mother. She arrives at the Vaughn home to find it spotless, but realizes how lonely it is when every day is spent cleaning and tidying up. Susan connects almost immediately with the children, but she's saddened by their isolation. Meanwhile, up north, Beth arrives to a new environment and is freaked out by all the odd statues and decorations in the home. She's concerned with David's lack of authority and Victor's manipulations. After participating in some laughing yoga sessions, Beth is convinced that the Vaughns have not faced the reality of parenting, and she's distraught at Victor's spoiled and rude behavior.
In the second week of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Susan is determined to bring fun back to the Petersen farm. She begins with attempts to have Justin spend more time with the kids, which at first results in confrontation and battles, but that eventually changes when Susan sets aside her laughing yoga and focuses more on the interests of the children. They attend a football practice, have a family whipped cream fight, and the kids finally get to spend more time with their father. Beth, on the other hand, sets out to create more structure to the Petersen home. It begins when she hides David and Victor's clothes and replaces them with more "masculine" attire. Since Beth sees David as a poor example to Victor, she asks him to start disciplining Victor, which proves difficult.
David and Beth argue almost constantly over parenting methods, but then David begins to see that Victor is manipulative and that showing a little authority may not be such a bad idea. After two weeks in another home, can Susan Petersen convince the Vaughns that life should be fun and family focused? And can Beth Vaughn show the Petersens that being a parent is not always about being a best friend, but rather about finding a balance between example and enforcement?
"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 ("Who Wants to be a Millionaire"). Stephen Pettinger, Neil Regan, Julie Cooper and Will Nothacker are co-executive producers. "Wife Swap" is broadcast with Spanish subtitles via secondary closed captioning. A TV parental guideline will be posted closer to airdate. This program carries a TV-PG,L parental guideline.