THE MATRIARCH OF AN ITALIAN FAMILY TRADES LIVES
WITH A FITNESS FANATIC, ON ABC'S "WIFE SWAP"
"DiBella/LaRosh" - Marie DiBella, the matriarch of an Italian family, and Carol LaRosh, a fitness fanatic, trade lives for two weeks on "Wife Swap," THURSDAY, APRIL 18 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
In "Wife Swap," two mothers of families, each with opposing values, trade households, lifestyles and children (but not bedrooms) in a two week-long challenge: In the first part of the exchange, each mom moves into the other's home and agrees to follow a manual of "household rules" written by the departing mother, including how to parent, manage their social life, do house work, unwind and more. Everything changes in the second week when "new mommy" takes charge, introduces her own set of rules and runs the "nest" her way. At the end of the second week, the two couples meet for the first time in a raw and highly-charged exchange of views, making frank assessments of one another and discussing the experience.
Marie DiBella lives in Seaside Heights, NJ with her husband, Leo, and their four children -- Leo Jr. (26), Nicky (21), Angelo (14) and Gianna (8). Marie likes to spoil her family by cooking big Italian-style dinners consisting of pasta, meatballs, Stromboli, wine and cake. She feels that food is a celebration and cooks every meal with love - and lots of calories - that have added inches to everyone's waistline. Marie handles all of the household duties, including laundry and cleaning, allowing her children free time with no responsibilities. The family owns and operates the pizzeria Bippy's, located at the Jersey Shore. When Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the area, the family had to close their business, and now they wait for the city to rebuild its infrastructure so they can re-open.
In San Diego, CA, workaholic and fitness fanatic Carol LaRosh lives with her husband, Larry, and their two daughters, Chloe (12) and Sophia (9). Carol is a real estate agent who strives for perfection and works long hours as the family's main breadwinner. She exercises daily and doesn't sit down for meals with her family. Carol was overweight as a child and lost 80 pounds through diet and exercise. She is determined to keep the weight off and her children's weight under control by portion control and a semi-strict diet. Her home runs like a well-oiled machine, with Carol outlining all of the children's responsibilities and daily chores on a large dry erase board so the kids stay on track.
When Marie arrives in California, she tries to follow Carol's work and fitness schedule, and finds herself spending more time in her office than with the children. She worries that, with Larry and Carol putting so much emphasis on weight and food with their children, they may be sending the wrong message to their girls. Marie expresses her concerns to Larry and talks with him about the need to reprioritize things in their life. When the rules change, the family gets a taste of Italian love when Marie leads the family in cooking an authentic Italian dinner and reminds the LaRosh family of the value in spending quality time together.
Back in New Jersey, Carol arrives at the DiBella home and, upon seeing a family photo, immediately labels them "A Big Ass Family." On her first night in the house, Carol is treated to a typical DiBella family dinner, cooked by Leo Jr. and Nicky. While Carol agrees to follow the rules, she struggles with the family's eating habits, and shares her personal weight loss story. When it's time for the rules change, Carol institutes "Carol's Boot Camp," getting the DiBella family up and moving, and on track to a healthier lifestyle, with some eye-opening discoveries along the way.
"Wife Swap" is produced by Zodiak USA. Mike Gamson and Bruce Toms serve as executive producers. It is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HD format, with 5.1-channel sound. This program carries a TV-14, L parental guideline.