October 01, 2006 11:01 PM by Joe Blackmon
This week in "Slater/Williams," a dance obsessed housewife who maps out every minute of her day and pushes her kids in ballroom dancing competitions swaps with a mother of three who lets her kids eat whatever and whenever and runs her house like the wild, wild west, on "Wife Swap," MONDAY, OCTOBER 2 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Each week from across the country, two families with very different values are chosen to take part in a two-week long challenge. The wives from these two families exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover just what it’s like to live another woman’s life. It’s a mind-blowing experiment that often ends up changing their lives forever.
Abra Slater (48) and her husband, Mark (47), and their two children, Rome (13) and Chevy (11), of California are mad hot for ballroom. Abra and Mark dedicate all of their time and money to classes and costumes, pushing their children to win at ballroom dance competitions. They’ve transformed their garage into a home studio, so practice is only a dance step away. Abra is in perpetual motion, planning every moment of her day and consulting the global navigational system in her car so that she can tell exactly where she is at all times to plot her course precisely. She can’t sleep if there are dirty dishes in her sink, demands the house remain neat and expects her kids to be just as active as she is. Mark takes the kids’ dancing so seriously that he even implemented a time card system so that they can document the hours they spend practicing. Chevy and Rome are shuttled to a variety of private and group lessons each week to spend countless hours practicing and competing.
Abra travels to the Minnesota home of the Williams family, where Jo (32) works as a prison guard but can’t control her own family and runs her home without any rules and zero discipline. Her husband, Doug (33), who works nights as a police officer and sleeps all day, would like to change this about his home. Oldest son Craig (12) acts as disciplinarian to the boys, Cayler (7) and Logan (5), by default. They’re allowed to watch as much television and play as many video games as they’d like. They have no dietary constraints and consume large quantities of soda and candy, which means that they are full of energy and bouncing off the walls, literally, at all times. Jo’s job is so stressful that she feels she has no energy to get her house or kids in order when she gets home.
In the first week of the swap, Abra trades in her leotard for Jo’s prison guard uniform and is shocked by the Williams’ lack of rules and structure at home. Meanwhile, Jo discovers it’s strictly ballroom at the Slater school of dance, and is stressed by the children’s overscheduled "timecard" of activities.
In the second week of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Abra struts her stuff and tries to teach the Williams boys some dance steps and discipline, only they’ve all got two left feet in both. Meanwhile, Jo stashes the sequins and trophies away and throws out all the rules and dance practice, and choreographs free time for the Slater kids.
At the end of the swap, when the couples are reunited, will Jo learn some new moves and let husband Doug take the lead in disciplining the kids and running the household? Will Abra learn there’s more to life than the merengue, rumba, tango and foxtrot?
"Wife Swap" is an RDF USA production. It was created by Stephen Lambert and is executive-produced by Wendy Roth and Stephen Lambert of RDF Media ("Faking It" and "Junkyard Wars") and Michael Davies of Embassy Row ("Who Wants to be a Millionaire"). Cristin Cricco, Stephanie Schwam Adams and Mike Gamson are the co-executive producers.