Paramount Network Renews Unscripted Format ‘Wife Swap’ For Second Season


Paramount Network is plotting more Wife Swap after the unscripted format delivered decent ratings in key demos for the Viacom-owned network.

The broadcaster has ordered a second season of the UK format with 20 new episodes. It comes from Banijay Studios North America.

The network said that compared to the same slot the previous year, the show was up +77% with P18-49 (0.35 rating), up +96% with W18-49 (0.44 rating) and up +75% with total viewers (491,000 total viewers).

The first season launched on April 4, having moved from its original buyer CMT. The show, which was originally due to air in February on CMT, moved after Viacom’s realignment of Viitsacom 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.

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 four seasons). The new iteration aims to reflect the current social landscape in the country, as illustrated by the trailer released today. 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.

Executive producers include Banijay Studios North America’s David Goldberg, Ted Iredell; Perry Dance and John Platt.

In addition to Wife Swap, Paramount Network’s roster of unscripted series includes Ink Master and spin-off Ink Master: Grudge Match which debuts this fall, the long-running Bar Rescue, Marriage Rescue and Lip Sync Battle.

Wife Swap is an iconic international hit that we knew would resonate with our Paramount Network audience,” says Keith Cox, President of Development for Paramount Network and TV Land. “Season one told entertaining and compelling stories of great families that were dramatic and at times pleasantly comedic. We’ll explore even more diverse families and their fascinating stories for season two.”

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