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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 May, 2004, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Wife Swap wins US prime-time slot
Wife Swap
Wife Swap became a ratings and critical hit after its 2003 UK launch
A US version of Channel 4 series Wife Swap will be shown at prime-time on US television this autumn.

TV network ABC commissioned the reality show, in which women switch husbands and families, from London-based production company RDF Media.

Twenty hour-long episodes will be broadcast in the ABC network's coveted 10pm slot on Wednesdays.

ABC said: "Never before has a reality series taken such an honest inside look at the American family."


Wife Swap was a word-of-mouth hit after its UK launch in January 2003, becoming Channel 4's second biggest hit last year - beaten only by the Big Brother 4 final.

It went on to win a Bafta TV Award, Golden Rose and four Broadcast magazine TV prizes, and a celebrity spin-off edition was made.

Last year the ABC network commissioned a pilot US version of Wife Swap, which RDF produced alongside six other episodes.

Before these were broadcast, a further 13 episodes were commissioned in a deal worth 7.5m to the independent production company.

Celebrity Wife Swap
Jade Goody and Charles Ingram appeared in Celebrity Wife Swap
RDF's creator of programmes Stephen Lambert told The Independent newspaper: "In many ways, it's worked even better than in Britain because there's such a variety of people here and Americans are good at being larger than life."

One of the participants in the US series is a Manhattan millionairess who swaps wife a woodsman's wife from New Jersey, he said.

"There's a hunger for new ideas in America. The diversity of the British market means we've got an enormous variety of programmes."

Expectations are high for Wife Swap in the US, where it will be broadcast directly after The Batchelor, ABC's highest rating returning show.

ABC has also commissioned new series The Benefactor from British production company 12 Yard, which will also be shown in a prime-time slot.

Bafta TV Award 2004 winners
18 Apr 04  |  TV and Radio
Wife Swap leads Broadcast awards
29 Jan 04  |  TV and Radio
Wife Swap triumphs in TV ratings
22 Oct 03  |  TV and Radio
Drama over dropped Wife Swap show
04 Nov 03  |  TV and Radio
Wife Swap show in ratings surge
22 Jan 03  |  TV and Radio

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