Move over, Duggars and Plaths, there’s a new big reality TV family in town! TLC is set to premiere The Blended Bunch, a show that follows the Shemwells as they adjust to becoming a new blended family after the deaths of Erica Shemwell‘s first husband and Spencer Shemwell‘s first wife.
“Spencer has four kids and I have seven, so between the two of us, that’s 11 kids,” Erica, 33, said in her confessional via a preview for the upcoming series. Erica is a mom to mom to Landon, 12, Emma, 10, Lily, 9, Sophie, 8, Tanner, 6, Amelia, 5, and Caleb, 3, according to People. Spencer, 32, is a dad to Brayden, 12, Harper, 8, Avery, 6, and Bexley, 4.
“We’re both widowed, I mean, we lost our previous spouses. My husband, Tony, passed away from brain cancer three years ago,” Erica said, choking back tears. “I feel like my heart was ripped out of my chest.”
“I lost my wife, Aimee, in a car accident. I remember sitting the kids all in my lap, I said, ‘Mommy passed away,’” Spencer said, wiping away tears. “I thought there was no way that I could ever love anyone like Aimee.”
Eventually, both Spencer and Erica were able to bond over their losses and tied the knot. “I think we’re like the modern-day Brady Bunch,” Erica said. “Except we have no Alice. We need an Alice,” Spencer joked.
Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with Spencer and Erica blending their families. Some of their children are struggling to adjust to their new stepsiblings, and Erica’s brother, Quinn, was very vocal about their choice to have Spencer legally adopt his nieces and nephews.
“As your brother, I think about if I died, I don’t know if I would want my kid to have somebody else’s last name,” Quinn said, getting emotional.
Erica also spoke candidly about what she thinks Spencer feels about her. “Sometimes I really just wonder if there are moments when Spencer wishes that Aimee was here instead of me,” she told a friend.
She later opened up to her brother about her struggle with panic attacks after the loss of her husband, explaining that during her episodes, she feels like she “can’t get a good breath.”
“Spencer, why do you not have a clue your wife has panic attacks?” Quinn asked his brother-in-law in a confessional.
In another scene, Quinn confronted Spencer. “I went through that whole traumatic experience with terminal cancer, and then here somebody wants to marry my sister?” Quinn said. “I mean, my true feelings [are] kinda like, what are you doing?’”
The Blended Bunch premieres on TLC Tuesday, March 16 at 9 p.m. ET.
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