TLC has acquired a British smash-hit reality TV series, on the secret world of Irish and Roma gypsies and travelers. It also plans to create an American version of the show featuring Irish travelers who live in America which will air next year.
"We love weddings [at TLC] and these weddings, in particular, are unbelievable -- they're days long…They're extravagant and visually arresting…The community itself is a fascinating community of contrasts with centuries-old religious practices and traditions, which they combine with the modern world.
The reality TV show, 'Big Fat Gypsy Wedding', sent ratings through the roof last winter in Britain.
Casting for the US version of the reality TV show is underway in the south east. It is thought that that show will not have the same title. Many Irish travelers live in the south, especially around the town of Murphy in Georgia.
The US version is produced by Firecracker Films, the same team that produced the British version. The show will premiere in June next year with sneak peeks available in May.
Winter said that they chose the south east to carry out casting sessions as there are large pockets of travelers in the area. She said "We know there are pockets of these communities spread across the US, with some fairly big pockets in the Southeast…They're very private and it's not something you cast a wide net for…We're trying to go directly to these communities and talk to them…We want to dig a little deeper and see what this community is all about."
The TV network hopes that this show does for travelers what "Sister Wives" and "Big Love" did for polygamists.
"Big Fat Gypsy Weddings," aired to 9 million viewers. This is the highest rating that a documentary has ever received in Britain.