You remember the drama that was Wife Swap back in the day. Well, now the show is back — and it’s about to be wilder than ever. With a new season premiering Friday, April 4 at 9 p.m. on Paramount Network, the reality TV show is turning the series that you knew on it’s head. Not sure how to watch? Want to know what’s setting the reboot apart from the old version? We’ve got all the information you need.
When was the old Wife Swap on?
The first season of the show aired on ABC in September 2004, and it ran for a couple of years until August 2010. A few years later, the show was picked up again and another season aired from March 2013 until May that same year. There was also a spin-off, Celebrity Wife Swap, that aired from January 2012 to September 2015.
Are they just swapping wives?
In the reboot, the show is featuring many different kinds of families, including lesbian and gay couples. However, this actually isn’t the first time that Wife Swap has featured diverse couples. Back in 2005, an episode that featured a gay couple even lead to a lawsuit when an Oklahoma man sought $10 million in damages after the show swapped his wife for a gay man. According to New York Post, Jeffrey Bedford claimed he wasn’t aware that the person coming to stay with his family would be a man and that producers wouldn’t allow him to contact his wife while she was staying with the other participants’ family.
“The show is meant to challenge a family’s norms,” a spokesperson for ABC said at the time. According to the contract, the spouses swapped “could be either male or female.” In the reboot, they’re seeking to push people’s boundaries in similar ways, introducing families to people and perspectives they might never come across in their daily lives. But it’s not meant to be harmful as much as it is enlightening.
How can you watch Wife Swap?
If you plan on watching on TV, you can find what channel Paramount Network is near you by using TVGuide.com. If you have a cable log-in but no TV, you can watch it on your computer by logging in to your cable provider on the Paramount Network website. You can also get a one-time 24-hour viewing pass to check it out if you don’t have cable but watch to check out the reboot.
What are past Wife Swap stars up to now?
Most of the participants of the show didn’t stay in the spotlight for long after their episodes ended, but a few made national headlines. Remember Balloon Boy? 6-year-old Falcon Heene’s story was a scary one when he was believed to have crawled into a gas balloon that floated away. However, that wasn’t the first time some had heard his name. The Heene family had previously appeared on an episode of Wife Swap during the hundredth episode of the show in 2009.
Another former contestant also made headlines for a much more tragic reason. According to reports from June 2017, Jacob Stockdale was suspected of killing his brother James and his mother, Kathryn, before attempting to kill himself. The Stockdales, who had a family band, had appeared on the show in 2008. In October 2018, Jacob was charged with murder. According to Oxygen, he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in January 2019.