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Thread: Welcome to the Neighborhood (ABC)

  1. #1

    Welcome to the Neighborhood (ABC)

    In a six-part reality series premiering SUNDAY, JULY 10 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET), one of seven diverse families will win a beautiful dream home on a perfect suburban cul-de-sac in Austin, Texas. But in order to win the luxuriously furnished and opulently appointed house, they must first win over the very people who will be most affected by the ultimate decision -- the next-door neighbors.

    During the process, relationships become strained, fears are confronted, secrets are revealed, expectations surpassed and the inner-workings of all of the competing families are exposed.

    But with every encounter with these families, the opinionated neighbors' pre-conceived assumptions and prejudices are also chipped away, and they learn that, while on the outside we may appear different, deep inside we share many common bonds. The judges find themselves learning to see people, not stereotypes.

    The three neighborhood families who will be judging the competing families all love their quiet, picturesque community and are used to a certain kind of neighbor -- one who looks and thinks just like them. It will be up to this watchful group to decide who should move into the dream house next door and who should be sent packing.

    Each week the competing families participate in a challenge given by the judging neighbors. This challenge could be in the form of an event or a competition, but there is always an unforeseen twist or turn that will reveal the families' true nature to the judges.

    The family who wins the challenge that week will be given an all-important "free pass," thereby becoming exempt from elimination that particular week. By episode's end, the neighborhood judges will determine which one of the remaining families will be eliminated, thus losing their chance to win the house.

    Each competing family ends up taking the neighborhood judges on an emotional journey that opens eyes and hearts. In the end, one family's life will definitely change when they win the deed to the house and move into the pristine home. But much to the surprise of everyone involved, a whole community experiences a transformation.

    The stakes are high. The families are real. And the neighborhood will never be the same.

    Welcome to the Neighborhood is from MGM, New Screen Concepts and the Jay and Tony Show Productions, with Rob Lee, Chuck Bangert, Lou Gorfain, Jay Blumenfield and Tony Marsh serving as executive producers. The series premieres Sunday, July 10, 2005 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET).

  2. #2
    You get what you vote for Y2Kevbug11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    I just saw the commercial on ABC and was rather turned off. I could see this as the feel-good conversion story of the year, but it just looks like a hate and prejudice spewfest.

  3. #3
    Check out Mariner's article about the show: Diversity Coming to the Neighborhood on ABC

  4. #4
    June 20, 2005 -- A new reality series in which three white, self-described "Christian" families get to pick their new neighbors from among a group of minority families is already drawing fire.

    And it hasn't even aired yet.

    The show is called "Welcome to the Neighborhood" and it's coming to ABC July 10.

    "I will not tolerate a homosexual couple coming into this neighborhood," one of the neighbors, Jim Stewart, says on the show about one of the candidate families a gay couple with an adopted baby.

    "I want a family similar to what we are," asserts another neighbor, John Bellamy, in a statement that would seem to dismiss at least six out of the seven candidate families.

    The diverse group includes African-American, Caucasian, Korean, Latino and gay families, plus one family in which husband and wife are heavily tattooed, and another in which mom and dad are devoted to the practice of Wicca, sometimes known as witchcraft or paganism.

    The show's first two episodes are filled with statements such as those above.

    Along with the show's premise, in which neighbors get to choose who will move into a vacant house on their cul-de-sac, the attitude reflected in the judging families' statements is raising hackles among fair-housing and gay anti-defamation activists sometimes sight-unseen.

    "The show perpetuates the problems of housing discrimination, segregation and racism in America, and it undermines the fair-housing rights of a person's ability to go buy a house without any approval or judgment from a neighbor," says Shanna Smith, president of the Washington-based National Fair Housing Alliance. She hasn't seen the show yet, but is basing her conclusions mainly on reading ABC's press materials promoting the show. She is already talking about launching an advertiser boycott.

    Meanwhile, from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation comes this reaction: "Watching three privileged couples vote to get rid of disenfranchised families they don't like is really disturbing," says Damon Romine, Los Angeles-based entertainment media director for GLAAD.

    Romine watched the first two episodes of the show last week.

    "Welcome to the Neighborhood" was filmed over a four-week period last winter in a suburban housing development in Austin, Texas.

    The winning family gets a four-bedroom, three-bath home, plus furnishings, upgrades and two years' worth of property taxes paid for them a prize worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $900,000, estimates two of the show's executive producers, Jay Blumenfield and Tony Marsh.

    In an interview last week, they said the show does not violate fair-housing laws, according to what they were told by ABC's lawyers.

    "This isn't like [the judging families] were renting an apartment to somebody or actually the sellers of a home. This is a prize, so in that realm, those discrimination laws and all that stuff are not part of this process," Marsh said.

    They're aware of their show's potential for controversy, but they're also hopeful that some people's outrage over the show will soften as the series plays itself out and attitudes among the judging families evolve and change.

    "I think this was an incredibly ambitious project, and I respect ABC for giving us a chance to be honest and to show what people really say behind closed doors," said Marsh.

  5. #5
    JESSICA: #1 AntmSTarTa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    New York, USA
    Well IMO, the judging families seem to look at the stereotypes. However, that's the game! If the neighbors dont like them, then dont live there! Even though they're all "equal" and should be looked at just like the other families, it's a game to impress the neighbors, and if the neighbors have pre-conceived stereotypes about types of people, thats the neighbors fault.

    That's just what I think.

  6. #6
    I see what you did there Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Exactly why I WOULDN'T sign up for this show.. NONE of those already established so-called goody-two-shoe'd families are what I'd want to live near.

    Oh, but I'll be watching this one.
    All things beautiful do not have to be full of color to be noticed; in
    life that which is unnoticed has the most power.

  7. #7
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Edge of the Beltway
    Just heard on the radio that ABC is postponing this show. Seems that they received alot of complaints from gays and lesbians about how they were stereotyped so ABC pulled the show from the July 10th date. ABC will air the show sometime later in a condensed version.

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