Our Family was Approached by The Lifetime Network to Be on a TV Show

Our Family was Approached by The Lifetime Network to Be on a TV Show

No, this isn’t a rerun story.

You may be remembering how back in August our family was approached by a casting director to be on a TV show on NBC, called The Family Project; which sounds like a modified version of ABC’s Wife Swap.

Now, in a completely different story, it is also true that our family was approached last week by a casting director to be on a different upcoming TV show to be filmed in Nashville; this one will be called The Parenting Project, on the Lifetime Network, which is actually affiliated with Disney.

From what I can tell, The Parenting Project is also another variation of Wife Swap.

After reaching out to me on my Twitter account, the casting director and executive productive had a Skype meeting with my wife and me.

They really liked the fact we are a vegan/vegetarian family; no other family they were considered fit that rare demographic.

Ultimately, they were looking for a family with an older child.

And really, we’re not eager as a family to broadcast ourselves on reality TV. Granted, one of my life goals is to pay off our house early, so I’m always willing to consider a pitch if the money is there…

I always feel it is an honor to be approached for something like this. It indicates that I am doing something right here on my blog; Family Friendly Daddy Blog.

Because they found me. I didn’t go looking for them.

If nothing else, I can always appreciate that I’ve made new contacts in the entertainment industry thanks to these two recent pitches from major networks.

Of course, I’ve been making it no secret that I am deliberately attempting to get my own network series for my children’s show, Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest.

I believe the world is ready for the newest version of Mister Roger’s Neighborhood.

And I’m it.

That’s why I’m so diligent to keep writing, filming, producing, and publishing new webisodes of all original material.

I believe Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest demonstrates my talents and abilities as an actor, writer, musician, and adventurist and is able to captivate the attention and inspire the imaginations of children.

If you haven’t seen Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest yet, here’s your opportunity.

One day, my show will take off.

Until then, I will keep building my online resume, which is this blog, and perhaps more importantly, my YouTube channel.

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We Were Approached to Be on NBC’s Upcoming Show, The Family Project

We Were Approached to Be on NBC’s Upcoming Show, The Family Project

A few weeks ago, Cast Iron Productions reached out to our family about the possibility of us being in a brand-new show on NBC, called The Family Project.

I have to admit, I feel honored that they chose us because A) they found our family simply because of my blog, which makes me very happy about my SEO, and B) because they said we seem like a really fun family based on what they saw on my blog, Family Friendly Daddy Blog.

After an email exchange, a phone interview, then a 2 hour Skype interview with our family, we were told we were good material for the show.

They liked specifically that we are a Christian, vegan/vegetarian family who doesn’t believe in spanking and who lives by an extremely enforced “Dave Ramsey” budget and who keeps our home spotlessly clean and who doesn’t own smart phones.

As far as what the show is about, here’s my best understanding:

It sounds like the concept of Wife Swap and The Real World combined. Instead of 2 polar opposite families swapping the wives in each family, it sounds like The Family Project will combine all the family members of both households in the same house.

They were clear with me that we would still have to work jobs, but it would be whatever my wife and I consider our “dream jobs”. As for me, that would mean full time blogging and making videos for my YouTube channel.

We had a lot of fun during the Skype interview, but I do have good reason to believe that ultimately, NBC will not be officially choosing us:

I was very clear with the casting agency that we have a complete Libertarian approach when it comes to our lifestyle:

In other words, we have no desire to enforce our beliefs on others. Therefore, I seriously doubt a camera crew would be able to get a rise out of me, which typically makes for “good reality TV.”

After all, conflict and chaos serves as the fuel of reality TV. From there, the audience watching is subconsciously prompted to pass judgment, thinking to themselves, “At least I’m not as crazy as that person!”

If one of the parents of the other family in the house tried to get me to debate with them on why we are vegans/vegetarians or Christians or why we won’t spank our child or why we live by a super strict budget, I simply wouldn’t argue back.

I am a man who is completely confident and secure in my beliefs. I have no desire to seek confirmation from anyone else.

While I’m always happy to explain any parts of our lifestyle, I back off the moment the other person thinks I am defending myself.

I have nothing to defend.

And I especially have no reason to argue with a non-Christian. Jesus didn’t argue with or try to fiercely convert those who were close-minded to His teaching.

Instead, He said time and time again, “Whoever has ears, let him hear.”

In other words, His teachings were meant for those who were listening; not those who tried to heckle him or prove him wrong.

I am a man who is completely confident and secure in my beliefs. I have no desire to seek confirmation from anyone else.

Where would the drama be in a reality show episode like that? Where is the conflict and chaos?

The only thing I can think of is to “try to get the Christians to crack” after being so irritated by the other family’s opposing “annoying” habits.

I’m not saying that’s impossible, but as Christians, our role isn’t to judge, but to serve others.

So I’m thinking, if their dirty dishes in the sink got in the way of our family making our own vegan meals, then we should probably help them out with their dishes.

Why would NBC pick us at this point? Yes, we’re a fun (and interesting) family; and yes, we have a different lifestyle compared to the American mainstream, I would assume.

But we have nothing to prove… or to defend… or to be offended by.

I have a feeling that just like with Steve Harvey and Katie Couric, when they approached me a couple of years ago about being on their shows, only to never call me back after they realized I wouldn’t argue with other guests on the show about my beliefs, that The Family Project will air without the Shell family.

Even still, I’m very curious to check the show out when it premieres in a few months!

We Were Approached to Be on NBC’s Upcoming Show, The Family Project

Photos by Aimee Cornelius.

Generation Y Finds Free WiFi

Internet is free unless you want to pay for it.


I am truly convinced that somehow one day Internet service will be free to all with access to a computer. The thing is, it’s already kind of that way- at least in a city the size of Nashville. A monumental event happened last week when Starbucks officially began advertising free WiFi in their stores. For months I have been mocking them for being so behind the times, as they have been charging by the hour for Internet service when McDonald’s has been offering it for a while now. In fact, Starbucks was the last major (and still relevant) store to join the crowd.

It’s quite symbolic of the direction that Internet is heading. I haven’t paid for Internet the entire 4 ½ years I’ve lived in Nashville. My laptop automatically picks up the nearest open network wherever I am, or wherever I’m driving by and decide to drop in- hotels, coffee shops, restaurants, churches, book stores, even auto repair shops provide Internet for me while I wait on my car. And I have weekly taken advantage of all those places.

Last weekend I went in to Verizon to renew my contract (and more importantly, get a new free phone they always offer for staying with them). I found the phone I wanted- it was small, light, and shaped like a stone. Yet when the salesman came over to help me I learned that the only way I could get that phone would be to get Internet through them for about $30 extra dollars a month. I made the mistake of telling him that eventually Verizon will offer free Internet (so that people will buy more expensive phones that make better use of online capabilities).

The guy actually said this to me in an attempt to make a sell: “Having Internet on your phone makes life so much easier. You may look out the window and see a rain cloud and wonder what the weather is going to be like that day. If you have the Internet on your phone, you can look up the weather forecast and find out.”

Really?! Really. Seems like the word “rain” in the phrase “rain cloud” might have given me a clue…

He wanted to argue with/educate me about technology so I simply replied, “Where are the phones that don’t require me to purchase additional Internet service?” I ended up leaving the store, with my same two-year old phone. The few options that didn’t require Internet were no more advanced than the phone I have now so I’ve decided to hold off on trading in my old one for a new one. It would be ridiculous to pay for what I already can get for free (the Internet) or try use my “free new phone” pass on a phone identical to the one I already have. And since I don’t live with a constant need to Tweet, I will manage just fine.

Surely it says something about access to free Internet use when I have built and maintained this website mainly using the Internet of Borders (where I’m posting this from now) and other coffee shop types of venues. If anyone should have to pay for Internet, it should be me. But I never have.

It just requires diligence, patience, and creativity. I also have never paid for cable- I paid $60 a few years ago for “bunny ears” at Best Buy that give me access to ABC, NBC, and Fox (plus some obscure Canadian channels). That’s how I watch the shows that I do recaps of. As for TV shows I want to see that don’t come on the major networks, I can easily watch them on their network’s website. Of course I am willing to part with $9 a month for Netflix- I began subscribing the month they started offering free instant streaming.

There’s a very thin line between being cheap and being smart. I’m okay with either side of that line.

Readers’ Expectations 3: Mexican Mustaches, Arabian Snails, and W.W.J.D? (What Would Jesus Drive)

Friday is typically my slowest day: Less people come to my site on Friday than any other day of the week.  So for the average 168 who do show up on any given Friday, the most hard-core and devoted readers of scenicroutesnapshots.com, I love to share my most off-the-wall Google searches.  Here’s how random Internet searchers found my site this week:

“Mexican mustaches”– This was a popular search on Wednesday, which was Cinquo de Mayo.  Many people out there just wanted to get in the Cinquo de Mayo spirit by reading about Mexican mustaches.  I can’t argue with that…

“will Earl Hickey ever shave his mustache?”– I hate to be bearer of bad news, but the last episode of the NBC sitcom My Name is Earl aired a year ago.  The show was cancelled.  So I think it’s safe to say actor Jason Lee has shaved by now.  Sorry.

“cartoon spoon of sugar”–  Uh, yes, because cartoon spoons of sugar are so much sweeter going down… You’re… weird.

“الحلزون”– When I Googled this, it took me to the Wikipedia entry for “snail”.  This script is Arabian.  It also took me to the link below, which is for some kind of art contest taking place in the country of Syria: http://www.syriacartoon.com/index.htm

“cannabis and me”– I like this.  I really do.  It makes me think of either an afterschool special or an 80’s movie about a kid and his weird alien friend.

“show me, don’t waste”– The new “green” state slogan for Missouri.

“in the temptation of Jesus, Jesus drives”– Man, I don’t know what Bible you’re reading, but when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness for 40 days, he sure didn’t simply drive off to Italy in a Toyota Camry.

Why Everybody Loves Taylor Swift (Plus, Does Taylor Swift Have a Heart Tattoo on Her Foot?)

This is the year of Taylor Swift.  America loves her.  Not just 14 year-old girls twittering about New Moon.  What is so universally likeable about this 5’11” Pennsylvania native?  She’s truly different.  She’s herself.  And she’s kinda dorky.

She’s normal.  Down to Earth.  And most importantly, genuinely humble.  And for a mega-celebrity, that makes her stick out.  In a very good way.

I have so much respect for Taylor Swift.  Not because of her clever songs which she writes herself (which is extremely rare in Country music) or her superstar status.  But instead, her extreme maturity for her young age.  And her sincerity.

And while much of old school Nashville sourly balks at her success, there is a reason she has made it this far at age 19.  She has the ability to connect with other people.  No matter how well a song is written or performed, it’s the feeling that a listener can relate to the artist and/or the song that causes popularity.

Her character was epitomized during that pivotal Kanye West moment.  She didn’t defend herself.  She didn’t get angry.  She didn’t cry.  She didn’t run off stage.  She just stood there.

And while she has allowed the media around her to poke fun at Kanye’s actions in her presence (SNL and the CMA Awards, in particular) she hasn’t bitterly belittled Kanye West via television or Internet.

That’s not what we are used to seeing.  That’s different.  That’s unique.  That’s class.  She set her self apart from everything artificial we could assume about someone in the entertainment industry.

Last night I tuned in to watch The Office but instead of that being on, NBC had a special about the most intriguing people of 2009.  They saved Taylor Swift to the very end.  In her interview she explained that she has always been herself and how important that is to her.

She’s right.  That’s a lot of why so many people are drawn to her.  (She sold on Madison Square Gardens in literally one minute.)  She’s real.

Taylor Swift doesn’t have to sell her music by dancing in skimpy shorts while pretending an ice cream stand is a dance pole at a strip club.  Or kiss Madonna at an awards show.  Or try to be edgy in any way.  She doesn’t have to try to be anything.  She just is.  Herself.

She’s just Taylor Swift.  And despite her outward appearance and her talent, she has a dorky side that shows through.  That vulnerability and humbleness intrigues people.

Authenticity is hard to come by.

Bonus: Does Taylor Swift have a heart tattoo on her foot?

The answer is no.  It’s not real.  She explains in this interview that is was drawn on to entertain the idea of getting a real one.

Jenny Slate Will Not Be Fired from SNL for F-Word Accident

That may not be official yet. It’s just my educated prediction.

I am a black-and-white kind of person. Either it is or it isn’t. That’s why the idea of censorship on national TV intrigues me. Because the rules of the game aren’t always in black-and-white. After all, there are actually no official guidelines regarding which words can and can not be used on TV- instead each network sets its own limits in an effort not to lose sponsors.

In a faux pas that wins the prize for irony, last night on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live there was a skit about “biker chicks” that made fun of them for having potty mouths, as the actors used the word “frickin'” as a form of self-censorship. New girl and Jewish comedian Jenny Slate, very early on in the skit, slipped the real word by mistake, puffing up her cheeks immediately after, as a sign of recognition of her accidental crime.

Instantly I was shocked by what I had just heard. Not offended, since the movies I choose to watch are loaded with “f-bombs”. Just very surprised, like a 2nd grader hearing the bully say a Bad Word, gasping that the Rule was just broken, wondering if anyone will “tell on” him to the teacher.

Knowing pretty well she said what I thought she said, this was confirmed right before the credits rolled at the end of the episode as fellow actor Seth Myers hugged her in a fashion that expressed, “Hey don’t worry about it- it was an accident. You’ll be fine.”

My favorite song my 8th grade year was “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” by REM. While a line of the chorus is “I never understood the frequency”, sang several times throughout the song, at the very end of the song for the final chorus the line changes to “I never understood, don’t f— with me.” I think I was the only person that caught it when in 1994 REM performed the song on Saturday Night Live. It went uncensored. The funny thing is, Comedy Central continues to air it as a rerun, still not editing it out.

Right now every article that has popped up on the Internet about this recent incident is going on to tell that in 1981 SNL actor Johnny Rocket was the first person to say the F-Word (unapologetically the moment he did it) on national television and that he was fired for it. And now the question is if  Jewish comedienne Jenny Slate will have the same fate. I have an answer.

No.

Last season SNL did a hilarious skit called “Sofa King”. That pushed the envelope for F-Word censorship more than anything they’ve done in the past. The skit was a fake commercial for a furniture store called Sofa King, in which the characters used the name of their store to describe how great everything is there. It took most people, including the audience, a minute or two to realize why the skit was even funny.

And once it clicked, it was genius. The actors were saying “sofa king” as a huge logo with the phrase popped up on the screen, but it phonetically sounds exactly like something else. It was a clever way to get around the censors while still saying the F-word multiple times. They totally got away with it. And what they did was completely intentional. And it wasn’t an issue with the censors. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_NqXSbh5Ns

So to fire the new girl for an obvious accident during late night hours would simply gain too much negative publicity for NBC. Being that they are the #4 network, if anything this will improve ratings for SNL and the network itself. More people will be tuning in to find out who this Jenny Slate girl is, hoping she will slip up again.

Obviously, as hundreds of people right now are Googling and YouTubing the incident, they are clearly not offended by what happened. If they were, like so many were with the Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson Super Bowl Fiasco, then it would be a different story.

While most people don’t approve of the word or use it on a regular basis, everyone slips at certain times. I know I have. Even if no one was around to hear it. Or even if I wasn’t on a live show on national TV.

This will turn out to be a fortunate accident for her. An instant transformation from New Girl to Jenny Slate, a name we now all know and recognize.

The Slip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJOvVdl0DXU

The Hug http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoSmGfJCEAo

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