Former 'Supernanny' Jo Frost Previews 'Family S.O.S.': 'It's Candid and It's Raw'
Jo Frost is here to save the day again!
The former "Supernanny" has a brand-new show on TLC called "Family S.O.S.," which premieres May 28 at 9 PM. But this time, she's not just helping parents with their kids; she's helping entire families that are in crisis.
We chatted with Frost about the format of the show, her strategy for difficult situations, and how real "Family S.O.S." gets.
When you first start working with a family, do you develop an approach before meeting them?
I don't. I don't develop, and I think that's what's important … When I receive the footage for a family that needs my help, I will observe and see a two-minute tape of what they believe their issues are, but when I meet them for the first time, it's very instinctual for me.
[It's not] something you can put on paper, it's not something you can preplan — it's about instinctually connecting with the families that you just met.
In "Supernanny," we saw you work with a lot of kids. But in the premiere, you're dealing with a bunch of teens.
That's what's so wonderful about doing "Family S.O.S." It's a format that I wanted to develop and create to show my expansion of experience. There's no mistake that "Family S.O.S." will not only have issues between the parents and the dynamics between married couples or generational issues, but teenagers as well, and tweens and toddlers.
Watch a preview:
So we'll see more of a focus on marriages and generational conflicts?
All I've done is allow through this format for the American viewer to see what was going on behind the camera. With my previous show, you saw me helping the parents with the children. A lot of the work I would have to do with the parents or with the grandparents or with the extra family members — that stuff would always have to be done … it just wasn't shown. The format was centered on children needing help.
This format allows me to show the homework that the adults have to do in order to not just fix themselves, but to create the harmony they want with their children. I think that's the beauty of this format. That's what I'm so excited about.
In the premiere, you work with a blended family that is falling apart.
Our team is looking at 21st-century issues; we're looking at problems that are relatable to American families. As you see with this blended family, it's about the dynamics between all the kids together, and the issues with this married couple holding on to so much hostility, and the reality of a real-life tragic situation happening.
It's candid and raw. The style of the show is very — factuality, that's what I'm calling it. Factuality. It's not shiny, or buff, and polished on the edges.
You even show one of the kids in the premiere saying that it's just reality TV and it's all for the cameras. We haven't seen much of that before.
With "Supernanny," it wasn't put in there. And I wanted it put in there — that's part of the format. If you don't think this is real, we've got no problem with that. We'll film it as raw as it is. I want people to feel like what they are watching is the real deal, because it is.
I don't blame Americans thinking that way, because when you think of some of the reality television that is on screens today, who can blame them? Who can blame thinking that it's scripted, or think that I don't care? But this is real, and you'll eventually see that.