TLC needs to change their name to TGP because they have completely transformed from The Learning Channel into The Guilty Pleasure network! They continue to churn out quirky smash hit reality series about American realities unfamiliar to most, ranging from the maniacally obsessive world of childhood beauty pageants, to the lives of youths hoping to escape the limitations of living in an Amish community, to a man, his four wives, and their 17 children just trying to get by.
The latest installment in the successful programming streak, which is only rivaled by reality show uber-producer Thom Beers, is a spin-off of their previous reality show hit My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, which took cameras (and viewers) inside the hidden world of American Gypsies. One of those “hidden worlds” is in Martinsburg, West Virginia where TLC cameras will return to bring us more of the infamous Stanley Sisters in their latest offering, Gypsy Sisters. (Click here to watch the Gypsy Sisters trailer.)
Today TLC issued a press release officially announcing the show, and has added Gypsy Sisters to their web site, complete with photos and bios for Mellie, Nettie, Kayla and Laura! Here is a brief description of the show followed by photos ad bios of each of the gals and the full press release from TLC! (I think I am going to be LOVING this show, I am embarrassingly proud to say!)
Wild child Mellie Stanley, best known for her stripping and violent temper on My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, returns with her meddling sister Nettie, cousin Kayla and loveable Laura for a raucous look at life as gyspies in the wilds of West Virginia. Premieres Sunday, Feb. 10 9|8c.
Nettie is the self-proclaimed mother hen of her gypsy brood. Like her cousin Kayla, she was born and raised in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and comes from a large family with ten siblings!
Now 38, she has been married nine years to the love of her life, and is a mother of nine children! She may not look it, but she is also a grandmother of two toddlers (named Ashton and Demi). When she isn’t shuttling her kids around town, Nettie is busy blinging outfits for them and catching up on all the local gypsy gossip.
Mellie is Nettie’s younger sister and is often dubbed the black sheep of the family. At 23 years old, Mellie is already twice divorced and hates the idea of settling down, being an obedient wife and having children.
Her reputation as a stripper with a violent temper has earned her the town nickname “Hellie Mellie.” Nettie feels that Mellie has brought shame on the Stanley family name, but she follows in the footsteps of her notorious mother, Lottie Mae Stanley, a con artist featured on “America’s Most Wanted” now serving time in jail. (Click the link for details on Lottie Mae Stanley’s arrest for bank fraud, which included scams in at least 11 states. Apparently Lottie used Mellie often to help win over the trust of bank tellers!) Mellie was only 13 when her mother went to jail, so Nettie played a large role in raising Mellie, which only further complicates their already contentious relationship.
Kayla is the epitome of a traditional gypsy housewife. She loves to cook and clean, and she’s instantly drawn to anything that has bling; even her braces sparkle!
A native of Martinsburg, West Virginia, Kayla and her cousin Nettie were raised so closely that they consider themselves sisters.
Kayla ran away from home at 15 and married her high school sweetheart, Richard. Fifteen years later, they are still happily married and have 5 children together. Now that her oldest daughter, Danielle, is turning 14, Kayla hopes that she doesn’t follow too closely in her mother’s footsteps and instead takes her time finding a good gypsy boy to marry!
Laura isn’t a gypsy by blood, but she considers herself a true gypsy at heart! Laura was welcomed into the gypsy community when she married Kayla’s brother, Gus. Gus is a blacktopper, meaning that he lays pavement for a living. His job requires the family to move around frequently, and Laura has grown used to life on the road, traveling between North Carolina and West Virginia, where her sister-in-law (and best friend) Kayla lives.
Laura and Gus have two little girls and continue to try for a third child — they’re hoping for a boy!
TLC TAKES VIEWERS INTO THE WILD WORLD OF “GYPSY SISTERS”
All-new series premieres February 10 at 9/8c
TLC returns to the thriving Gypsy community in West Virginia to experience life in the Stanley family, a loud and proud clan that was first introduced in the series MY BIG FAT AMERICAN GYPSY WEDDING. Now, the new series GYPSY SISTERS takes a closer look at the four women who lead this outrageous family with their own set of rules, and where everything is taken to the extreme, including their fights and their love for each other.
The all-new six-episode series GYPSY SISTERS starts with a special 2-hour premiere on Sunday, February 10 at 9/8c.
Martinsburg, West Virginia is a hotbed of Gypsy culture and intrigue. With their husbands constantly on the road for work, the women are expected to stay home, cook, clean, and raise the children. When they’re not busy doing household chores and working to look their best, they keep themselves entertained by involving themselves in each others lives – whether they’re welcomed or not.
Nettie Stanley is the outspoken matriarch of the Stanley clan, and she wields gossip like a weapon against her enemies. When she’s not stirring up drama and inserting herself into the lives of her nine children, she’s contending with her rambunctious younger sister Mellie, the self-proclaimed black sheep of the family. Mellie’s job as a stripper, as well as her proclivity for drinking, swearing, and getting into fist fights has made her the talk of the town, and Nettie feels that Mellie has brought shame on the family name.
Meanwhile, Nettie’s cousin Kayla strives to be the perfect gypsy wife and mother, but the demanding roles often prove easier said than done. Kayla and her traditional Gypsy husband Richard continually butt heads when it comes to raising their teenage daughter, Danielle. Kayla wants to let Danielle date whomever she pleases, but Richard is insistent on Danielle marrying a proper Gypsy boy. Kayla’s life is further complicated when her brother Gus and sister-in-law Laura move in with them. Kayla worries that eleven people living under one roof is a recipe for disaster!
GYPSY SISTERS delivers an in-depth look at the Stanley’s twisted family tree. When Mellie’s ex-boyfriend, Robbie – the love of her life – returns to town, he unwittingly turns her wild and carefree world upside down and forces Mellie to reevaluate the direction her life is headed. And, just as Mellie opens herself up to the possibility of love and marriage, her ex-con mother, Lottie Mae, gets released from prison, unleashing a hornet’s nest of fighting and fury for everyone in the Stanley family.
Open the door into the lives of this big Gypsy family Sundays at 9/8c, only on TLC.
Fans can connect with GYPSY SISTERS at:
Twitter: hashtag #GypsySisters
GYPSY SISTERS is produced for TLC by Firecracker Films.