Those who believe their parenting skills are worthy of an audience have many chances to be seen in the near future. Apparently reality show producers also think the whole world needs to weigh in on different ways to raise children, based on the sample of casting calls made recently.
The latest, from the people who bring you "Dance Moms" and "American Stuffers," will be called "Extreme Parenting" (if one of the "multiple" cable networks bidding on the show come through, says producer Jeff Collins).
He was inspired to create the show, he says, after watching the national paroxysms of outrage over the Time magazine cover showing self-described "attachment parent" Jamie Lynne Grumet breastfeeding her 3-year-old son.
"I think it is fascinating when Americans find something to be provocative and upsetting," Collins explains. "We are a country of extremes. The shows I do peel back the curtain on the choices people make -- some of them will outrage other people."
Collins said long-term breastfeeding is "just one of the topics we are going to cover." "There are others that make breastfeeding a toddler look mild," he says, then asks if I have heard of such things as the "elimination communication" form of toilet training and "co-sleeping" (both of which might not shock him quite as much if he either had children or read any parenting websites).
If "extreme" is not your style, don't give up on stardom just yet. It might be enough to be merely "unique." That's what Punched in the Head Productions is looking for:
"How do you parent?" its website asks.
"Do you believe in attachment parenting? Or maybe you consider yourself a "tiger mom"? Do you practice "free-range parenting"? Or green parenting? Or a style of parenting that's all your own? Are you raising a future high achiever? Or a free spirit? Do you find yourself judging -- or being judged by -- other parents? Is your parenting style radically different from your parents' or friends'? Do you think kids need lots of structure and clear rules? Or lots of freedom and play time? Do you think kids' schedules should be filled with enriching activities? Or do you practice "slow" parenting? Do you think parents should be authoritative? Or indulgent? Should you be strict? Or permissive? Should you spare no expense for the finest things for your child? Or keep it simple?"
If you answered yes to any of these questions, we want to hear from you.
Is there a parent on the planet who would not answer yes to at least one of those questions?
The website realitywanted.com also has a long list of possibilities (note, not all of these will actually make it to the air -- in fact, most probably will not...)
The folks who gave you Cheerleader Nation are looking for "first time parents and their different kinds of parenting!" Another group is looking for real life examples of platonic couples raising children, like the movie "Friends With Kids." (While we are on that subject, I have long wanted to profile a couple like that, so if you know of one, email me please?)
There is one request for parents who are making their child "an outcast." The pitch asks: "Do you force your children to adhere to a strict diet or workout plan? Do you make your children study more than his or her peers? Do you decide who your child can and can't be friends with? Are your kids not allowed to watch television or play video games?" (If that doesn't describe you, the producers invite you to rat out your friends and family.)
Doron Ofir Casting, in turn, famous for finding the talent that is "Jersey Shore" and "Millionaire Matchmaker" is looking for stage mothers to star in "Momagers" about women who manage their budding stars' careers. The call went out for women who know they've "been blessed with the most talented kid in the world. Music, sports, dancing or acting."
And where will this end?
"So long as they attract an audience, there is no end in sight," Steve Hertz, president and founder of If Management, Inc. told Fox news back in April, when "Momagers" was first announced. "Perhaps we'll see MTV 'Real Cribs' or "American Infant.' Maybe the end point would be 'American Fetus.'"
Since then, Doron Ofir seems to have taken to that suggestion. "Now casting Pregzillas!," the website announces:
EXPECTING MOTHERS: You thought PMS was bad, but this just got a whole lot worse! Are you losing your mind? Hormones running amok? Freaking out over the littlest things? Are you making yourself and everyone else around you nuts and using your pregnancy as the excuse?
This is your pregnancy and you need to be treated like a queen! Let's face it, you're never going to have a better excuse to act up, diva out, regress to childhood, and take command as the queen!
EXPECTING SIGNIFICANT OTHERS: Do you not recognize the woman you fell in love with? Are you feeling more and more like an alien took over her body and turned her into an emotional monster? This is your chance to have fun with the fact that your lady has gone off the rails.
Will you be watching any of these? Will you be signing up to be on them?
Correction: An earlier version of this article reported that Jamie Lynne Grumet had agreed to appear on Extreme Parenting. She says she has not agreed to appear on any reality program, and has turned down several offers.
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