At today’s Lifetime Supernanny panel at TCA, Executive Producer/Supernanny Jo Frost and EP Dan Peirson said the reality series is returning to the screen for an 8th season with 20 new episodes at a time when families are suffering from general fear and angst brought on by the times, as well as the disconnection caused by personal devices and solitary screen time.
“Now is right, now is the time, (there are) so many families out there that desperately need our help ,” said Frost. She and Peirson were joined on the panel by the Ostlers of Mesa AZ, a family featured on the show, including parents Dane and Nicole and sons Jax, 6, and Kaydin, 4.
Frost said the reincarnated show will also deal with contemporary issues such as postpartum depression, as well as focusing on tweens and teens along with toddler troubles.
Peirson said that when the team started making the show in the early 2000s, there was little parenting advice beyond Dr. Spock. Now, he said, there is a need for a program to cut through the digital clutter. “Now you can’t go online without being bombarded, inundated, awash with advice,” he said. “What we’re missing is wisdom”.
He added that it’s not just the kids, but the parents who are fracturing the family as they are also glued to their tablets.
Frost, Peirson and the two parents all insisted that the real-life families’ welfare always comes before showbiz. Frost called this a “fine balance.” “You cannot fake authenticity and integrity. Either you have it, or you don’t,” she said.
The British Frost got a few laughs in answering the question of whether American children are different from the European variety. Americans, she said, tend to “mollycoddle a little bit more” and said a little more training in life skills and self-sufficiency may be in order.