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ABC Family Flips More ‘Switched’

Feb 9, 2004  •  Post A Comment

ABC Family Channel is launching a prime-time spinoff of its teen reality show “Switched.”
The new program, “Switched Up,” is scheduled to premiere March 7. The network has ordered 12 episodes from producers Charles Cook and Evolution Film & Tape.
The show was initially greenlighted by the late ABC Family programming head Linda Mancuso, then reapproved by ABC Networks President Anne Sweeney, who took control of the network in October.
The original “Switched,” in which two teens trade lives for a week, has been ABC Family’s most successful series to date, averaging 675,000 total viewers, a time period increase of 44 percent compared with the previous year, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The new version features adult participants. In one episode a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader switches jobs with a real cowgirl from Wyoming.
The show is part of a strategy at ABC Family to attract kids during the day, young teens in the afternoon and young adults and families during prime time.
“We were basically looking at the success of the teen version and how there’s so many different versions we could do,” said Robin Schwartz, ABC Family’s VP of programming. “It works well for teenagers, but adults are more stuck in their ways and the show becomes more dramatic.”
There have been a few recent reality shows that involve lifestyle trading. National Geographic has a cross-cultural version called “Worlds Apart,” where an American family is plopped into a remote village in a foreign land for 10 days. ABC is developing tentatively titled “Swap,” a domestic version of the United Kingdom show “Wife Swap,” in which two married women trade places.