The design of a family may be changing, but the design of family sitcoms still tends to follow a very specific formula. So specific that there are often more than one show on the same time with the same concept. Such is the case for Nickelodeon’s Instant Mom and ABC’s Trophy Wife, both shows about young women who marry slightly older men who come with a gaggle of kids who don’t necessary welcome, let alone respect, the new mother figure in their lives.
“I think it’s fun; it’s very witty; and I like the contemporary side to it. You really don’t necessarily see a show on the air right now with a step-mom– especially surrounded by an African American family,” Instant Mom star Tia Mowry-Hardrict said at the TCA presentation in Los Angeles earlier today.
Mowry-Hardict is right about the latter point. Though both shows feature women coming into families with older children (a teenager and a handful of tweens and elementary school aged, not babies), on Trophy Wife, Malin Akerman is woman who marries into a family that features multiple ex-wifes all very much still involved with her new husband, but it is a white family. There certainly will be different stories and different points of humor brought up based on their specific settings and cultures and individual family dynamics.
On Instant Mom, Mowry-Hardrict’s character is just adjusting to married life and motherhood, but her own mother (Sheryl Lee Ralph) comes into play as a woman adjusting to dating again, as well as being a “glam-mom,” and the husband (Michael Boatman) only has one ex-wife who happens to be called out of town for the weekend, leaving them last minute with the kids. The ex isn’t a physical presence but will be talked about more and more as the season goes on.
“I think it’s a show the whole family can sit down and watch, and I think it’s very relatable right now,” Mowry-Hardrict said.
“Everybody can watch this show. No matter where you’re from, what color you are; everybody can just sit down and enjoy.”
Instant Mom executive producer Aaron Kaplan also wanted to add that Instant Mom was born out of a real life experience, which marks it as different, and unique, as well.
“Trophy Wife is a totally different show. Yes, it is a blended family [but] it is a single camera comedy; it is kind of a tribute to Nancy Meyers. The execution of this is just a very different show,” Kaplan said.
“The chronology of shows, this show was first, but it’s In a weird way you could say Lost was Gilligan’s Island. Television in so many ways is complimentary in that there are only so many ideas; it’s all about execution.”
Trophy Wife premieres on ABC on September 24th 2013 at 9:30 p.m. Instant Mom is coming “fall 2013” to Nickelodeon, but there is no specific date yet. Therefore, it may have been conceived first, but it may not end up coming out first after all.
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