So far, since the January 2017 Viacom realignment of networks into flagship and reinforcing brands, there has been a slew of series changing homes, mostly scripted. That includes American Woman, Heathers, Nobodies and Younger moving from TV Land to Paramount Network; Hit the Floor and The Breaks going from VH1 to BET; The Shannara Chronicles from MTV to Paramount Network predecessor Spike and First Wives Clubs recently jumping from Paramount Network to BET.
The program migration among Viacom cable networks continues. The revival of spouse-switching reality series Wife Swap, which which had been ordered a year ago by CMT and was supposed to debut on the network Feb. 28, will instead air on siblings Paramount Network. The 10 one-hour episodes will begin airing April 4.
Paramount Network had been designated as Viacom’s leading scripted programming brand, while CMT, labeled a reinforcing brand, had retreated from scripted programming after its foray with Nashville and Sun Records, to remain focused on reality fare.
Wife Swap‘s relocation does not signal a change in programming direction for either network. Premium scripted series remains a priority for Paramount Network, with some limited presence of unscripted, sports and doc on the schedule. (One of the first original series that launched the rebranded Paramount Network was the docuseries Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story.)
The move reflects the latest realignment of Viacom entertainment cable networks under Kent Alterman and Chris McCarthy. CMT had been a part of a group that also included Paramount Network and TV Land. The programming of the three networks was overseen by Keith Cox, who bought and developed the updated Wife Swap for CMT. In the October 2018 restructuring, CMT moved to the MTV/VH1 group. With Cox as the main driving force behind Wife Swap and its main champion, he felt strongly about keeping it on Paramount Network.
As the title suggests, each episode of Wife Swap features two families from very different walks of life switching spouses. The original series ended in 2013 (there was also a celebrity version that ran 4 seasons). The new iteration aims to reflect the current social landscape in the country, as illustrated by the trailer released today. (you can watch it above). There are same-sex couples, a family that lives without wi-fi, a family that lives on bus as the series touches on hot-button issues such as politics, classism, gender and race with the end goal of finding common ground.
“Wife Swap is an iconic international hit that’s more relevant now than ever,” said Keith Cox, President of Development for Paramount Network, in a statement. “There are plenty of fireworks in each episode that audiences expect, but they’ll also be surprised as they watch these families learn about new lifestyles and choices to find resolution.”
Executive producers include Banijay Studios North America’s David Goldberg, Caroline Baumgard; Ted Iredell; Perry Dance and John Platt.