Too good to be true? TLC’s Breaking Amish was so popular with fans, the network returned with the spinoff Return to Amish — but how real is the drama? Keep reading to find out everything we know about if the show is real or fake. 

Is ‘Return to Amish’ Real?

Return to Amish is a spinoff of the highly popular series Breaking Amish which ran on TLC from 2012 to 2014. The series focused on “temptations abound as a group of young Amish as they explored life beyond their Amish culture,” according to the network. “Ultimately, they will make the biggest decision of their lives — to remain Amish/Mennonite or become English and face the consequences of being shunned by their family and friends.”

Following its 2012 debut, the show became widely popular, averaging 3 million viewers per Sunday night airing, per Variety. However, shortly after, reports surfaced surrounding the validity of the series and questioned if producers crafted scenes to boost ratings. It was also theorized that some cast members had already started their lives outside the Amish community. 

TLC, along with the show’s production company, Hot Snakes Media, released a joint statement to Variety debunking those claims in 2012. 

“Our Amish and Mennonite producers that we hired introduced us to Amish and Mennonite men and women who were already determined to leave,” the statement read. “They had already made the decision to go out and see the world, with or without us. They courageously allowed us to follow them on this journey.” 

Is ‘Return to Amish’ Scripted?

Return to Amish star Jeremiah Raber previously dished on how the show’s scenes were created, saying he couldn’t say it was “100 percent real.” 

“Every place we go to has to be set up in advance meaning that the owner of every place has to sign a release prior to us filming at that location,” the TLC personality told Blast Zone Online. “Yes, there are parts that are scripted. Every reality show is that way to make things juicy and interesting for the viewers.”

Jeremiah previously faced controversy from viewers as he was said to have left the Amish community at 18 years old. However, in 2012, at age 30, the reality TV star was captured doing modern-day tasks like using a cell phone “for the first time.” In response, he believed viewers didn’t fully understand the community. 

“A lot of people think they know how Amish live all because they might live around some or they heard certain things about the Amish,” he told the publication. “Where I’m from there are 13 kinds of Amish. The strictest ones are just like the movie Witness. The more modern ones have electricity, cell phones, computers, etc. so, they have to realize not all Amish are the same.”

Return to Amish star Daniel Miller exposed the show for knowing he left the Amish community but still included him on the cast. The TV personality answered a fan’s question during a May 2023 Q&A, revealing that the scene of him telling his parents he was leaving the Amish community was actually a “reenactment.”

“It came across a lot easier on TV than when I actually left back in April 2017,” he wrote before typing in a separate story, “Good luck finding a show that’s 100% real!”

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