A FAMILY WITH 29 PETS, 4 ROWDY KIDS AND NO RULES SWAP WITH A UBER-STRICT FAMILY, ON ABC’S “WIFE SWAP”
“Adams/Hess” – A reptile and animal-obsessed family with no rules or fashion sense swap with a strict family who can’t stand animals and say that “fashion is more important than air,” on “Wife Swap,” FRIDAY, APRIL 30 (9:00-10:00 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.
In Pennsylvania, the Hess family home is a zoo, literally. With 29 pets, including 11 reptiles, 8 dogs and a skunk, the Hess home is one big mess. Parents Paul and Amanda believe living with animals makes you a kinder person. They’ve turned their compassion into a business; Amanda hosts a reptile show once a month. When he’s not conversing with his pet alligator, Paul is a pizza-maker. Back at home, kids Connie (15), Lil Paul (12), Kayla (12) and Lil Jimmy (4) have the freedom to do whatever they please. With no responsibilities, the kids enjoy running wild. The Hesses don’t bother with their appearances, since they’d rather hang out with their creepy, crawly friends in their jungle-like house.
In Kentucky, the Adams family live a disciplined and animal-free life. Parents Michael and Samantha Adams treat their only daughter, Michaela (14), like their maid by giving her a heavy dose of daily chores. On top of her regular school work, Michael and Samantha require her to rehearse Shakespeare daily for thirty minutes. Both parents try to lead by example by working demanding full time jobs. Despite their heavy workload, the Adams family believe in always being fabulous and stylish. Michael even considers fashion to be more important than air, since everyone can have air but not necessarily a sense of fashion.
In the first week of the swap, Amanda Hess leaves behind her house of wildlife and equally wild children for the spotless Adams home. Upon arrival, Michael determines she is a fashion misfit and jokes that he wouldn’t want to be seen with her in public. After her “fabulous” makeover, Amanda tries to bond with the family. While Michael relaxes, Michaela continues her grueling routine of chores and homework. Meanwhile, in the untamed Hess home, Samantha Adams struggles from the get-go with the overwhelming smell of all the animals. She tries to embrace Amanda’s lifestyle by feeding and caring for the animals and letting the kids run the home, but the zoo and its inhabitants are too much for her.
In the second week of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Amanda Hess moves in a menagerie and Michael has a face-off with an iguana. Amanda also decides to give Michael Adams a taste of his own medicine by allowing Michaela to draft the “Declaration of Michaela,” stating what she would like to see changed in the home. She pleads with her father to allow her to hang out with friends like a normal teenage girl. After he is forced to complete her usual chores, Michael agrees to sign the document giving Michaela her first taste of freedom. It’s a huge step, but will it last? Meanwhile in the Hess home, Samantha Adams tries to bring some order by removing all the animals, much to the family’s dismay. After two weeks in another home, can Amanda Hess help Michaela gain some freedom? And can Samantha Adams help the Hess family realize that a more orderly home would benefit all the family members, including the four legged creatures?
“Wife Swap” is an RDF USA production. It was created by Stephen Lambert and is executive-produced by Mike Gamson and Michael Davies of Embassy Row (“Who Wants to be a Millionaire”). Neil Regan, Julie Cooper and Will Nothacker are co-executive producers.
Source: ABC Press Release