Menu

ABC to Air 'Wife Swapping' Show

ABC has commissioned a new reality show based on a British hit called Wife Swap -- but it's not what you think.

Wife Swap is one of the most popular British reality shows and features two women who switch husbands and families for 10 days.

The women trade diets, lifestyles, child-care approaches and standards of domestic hygiene -- but they don't actually have sex with each other's partners.

Once the 10-day challenge is complete, both families meet up and talk about their experiences.

An ABC official confirmed that a pilot for the U.S. version was "in development," but said it would be called The Swap rather than Wife Swap.

In England, the pilot episode of the show featured a woman who was against mixed-race relationships being paired with a sexist black man.

The combination of the two resulted in heated arguments and became the subject of water-cooler talk across Great Britain the next morning.

A more recent episode had a mother of six change places with a mother of one for two weeks.

The episode was watched by about 5.7 million British viewers -- a massive rating since the TV audience across the Atlantic is significantly smaller than the one in the United States.

Yesterday, the BBC reported that the show had been picked up by ABC. A network spokesman declined to comment.

Wife Swap is just one of nearly 40 reality shows that are headed for U.S. TV in the near future.

The genre, fueled by the massive success of programs like American Idol, Joe Millionaire and The Bachelorette, shows no sign of letting up any time soon.