Wife Swap, a reality TV show, originally produced by UK’s RDF Media, and created by Stephen Lambert, will now be remade with a desi twist for Sony Entertainment. UTV’s TV production unit will be producing the adaptation.
The show was first aired in 2003 on UK’s Channel 4, and then telecast on US’s ABC Network the next year. Last year, Channel 4 announced that they had axed Wife Swap. The final episode was aired in December 2009.
UTV is tweaking the format, keeping in mind Indian sensibilities. Two homemakers from extremely diverse cultural and social backgrounds will go for a swap. The women will have to run the kitchen of a family she knows little about and look after the kids for approximately two weeks.
The winner will be chosen from what each family learns from the swapped wife. The production house isn’t sure whether it will cast celebrity participants or real families or a mix of both, the way it has been in the US and UK. UTV’s official spokesperson confirms the news: “Yes, we are producing Wife Swap that should air early next year. We’re still figuring out the concept and the way it should be presented for a more conservative Indian audience.”
Wife Swap in the US and in the UK, apart from having celebrity contestants like Jade Goody and John McCririck, was spoofed in a 2006 episode of The Simpsons — Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife. In 2007, the UK version began a search for same-sex swaps.
In November 2005, Jeffrey Bedford, a participant in the American series, sued ABC Network for over USD 10,000,000 (44 crore) for trading his wife for a gay man although the contract stated the spouse could be of either gender.