Sunday, July 08, 2001

Families vie for reality-TV roles

By Emily Biuso
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — More than 40 eager families drove up to six hours to Paramount's Kings Island Saturday to convince casting agents they're real enough to star in a new reality TV series. The shows will record four families living and competing in challenges and games on a South Pacific Island.

        “It's kind of like Brady Bunch meets Survivor with a little bit of Swiss Family Robinson thrown in,” said Jocelyn Green, casting director for Endemol Entertainment.

        The show's name, network and location have not been announced. Producers did not say when people would learn they had been chosen. They would also not say when the chosen people must pack and leave their lives or how long they might be gone, but estimated that the stay might be three to four weeks in September and October.

        That didn't discourage the Hueber family of Newtown.

        “We're willing, we're ready to go. Our bags are packed,” said Matt Hueber, who came with his wife, Tracy, son, Caelan, 6, and daughter, Bryce, 5.

        Neighbors know how they live and the rest of America might as well know, too, Mrs. Hueber said. “We live in a fish bowl.” Casting calls are being held in 11 other cities, including New York, Chicago and Seattle. Families can also apply by visiting the agency's Web site,

        Vague assurances and high odds against being cast didn't deter star-struck Tristaters.

        “We like reality TV; we get suckered into it just like everyone else,” said Kelly Sells of Fairfield, who came with her husband, Edward and sons Tyler, 12, and Jordan, 14.

        After watching the other average Joes live and compete on TV, the Sellses are ready to try their hand.

        “We think we'd kick butt,” Ms. Sells said.

        Other families had no qualms about having their every move televised.

        “We've discussed it,” said Terry Tatman of Independence, Ky., who sees the show as an opportunity to spend more time with his son and daughter, who live with their mother in Hilliard, Ohio.

        He said it would be “a surprise” for her if they were chosen but in the meantime, he and the children agreed there would be “no picking noses or anything like that” if they were cast.


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