[07/09/08 - 01:21 PM]
NBC to Air "The Baby Borrowers" Town Hall Special Offering Topical Follow-Up After Encore of Hit Reality Series Finale on Wednesday, August 6
In addition, viewers will be able to send in questions via nbc.com.

[via press release from NBC]




BURBANK � July 9, 2008 � NBC offers an exciting follow-up special after the finale of its popular summer series "The Baby Borrowers" (Wednesdays, 9-10 p.m. ET) with a spirited debate punctuating an interactive town hall-reunion that will bring together the reality series' cast and producers -- as well as other news-making guests to be announced -- on Wednesday, August 6 (9-10 p.m. ET). The special will follow an encore broadcast (8-9 p.m. ET) of the series' finale from the week before. In addition, viewers will be able to send in questions via nbc.com.

"The coincidence of this unique series has drawn media attention to the very important subject of the recent rise in teen pregnancies as well as to recent related news ranging from the high school students in Gloucester to pregnant teen celebrities such as Jamie Lynn Spears," said Craig Plestis, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, Development and Specials, NBC Entertainment. "This special should shed more light on a controversial subject that deserves more personal discussion beyond the social experiment that we provided to entertain audiences this summer."

Last December, The Center for Disease Control reported that in 2006, the number of teenagers giving birth rose for the first time in 14 years. The topical new reality series which premiered Wednesday, June 25 follows a diverse group of teen couples experiencing "adult life on fast forward" and has sparked much debate while also bringing the important social issue of teen pregnancy to light.

The premiere episode delivered NBC's highest adult 18-49 rating in the Wednesday 9-10 p.m. ET hour since January 2, excluding sports telecasts, to give NBC its top-rated summer series premiere of 2008 in the coveted 18-49 demographic. With a 2.9 rating 8 share in adults 18-49 and 7.9 million viewers overall, "The Baby Borrowers" premiere ranked in that week's top 10 in every key ratings demographic. And with its second telecast on July 2, "The Baby Borrowers" maintained 97 percent of its strong premiere rating in adults 18-49 (2.8 vs. 2.9) and grew by 12 percent in adults 18-34 (2.9 vs. 2.6) and 24 percent in teens 12-17 (2.1 vs. 1.7).

The "The Baby Borrowers" is an intriguing reality series based on the hit British program that required five diverse teenage couples -- ages 18-20 -- to fast-track to adulthood by setting up a home, getting a job and becoming caring parents first to babies, toddlers, pre-teens and their pets, teenagers and senior citizens -- all over the course of three weeks.

As the social experiment begins, the five young volunteer couples were asked to literally grow up overnight; they are each given a home in a quiet cul-de-sac outside Boise, Idaho, and sent to pre-natal classes, as each "mother" wears a simulated "empathy" belly, to prepare them for the arrival of their "baby."

When a real baby (all aged 6-11 months old) appeared at their door -- courtesy of five pairs of real volunteer parents (some of whom were teen parents themselves) who entrusted their infants to each of the couples -- the nervous, fumbling teens were in for three long, arduous days. They had to stick to rigid routines, handle the feeding chores, diaper duty and crying jags that might be shared by baby and teens -- all the while under 24-hour supervision by nannies and the real parents who are stationed next door, watching via monitor and able to step in at any time. Plus, one teen from each of the couples had to start a job.

After three surprising, intense days, each teen couple said bye-bye to the baby and received a toddler as their fast-forward adult life progressed. They had to cope with typical "terrible twos" behavior, including pouty tantrums, potty training and other messes. Three days later, the weary couples faced the reality of parenting several sassy pre-teens/"tweeners" at once -- each with a family pet in tow, adding to their responsibilities. Seventy-two hours later, the teenagers arrived, thereby perhaps providing them with a mirror image of their own recent relationships with their parents. To complete the cycle of life, the experiment ended as couples are graced with the opportunity to care for a senior citizen, including some with health issues, who represented what might be in store for them in the distant future.

Through this emotional, dramatic journey, each young couple got a unique opportunity to peer into the future and see what they (and their partners) might be like if they remain together and decide to build a family. Tested by the everyday ups and downs of taking care of others and maintaining a relationship, most of the teens found themselves looking at all of their relationships and notions of parenthood in a new light.

"The Baby Borrowers" series is produced by Love Productions. Richard McKerrow (the U.K.'s "Cirque de Celebrite") and Tom Shelly ("Survivor") are executive producers. The town hall will be executive produced by NBC News' David Corvo, and additional details about the special will be announced at a later date.

  [july 2008]  


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