Unexpected has been a huge ratings hit for TLC, and it looks like the show’s producers are now casting for another teen pregnancy reality series with a slightly different twist.
Eastern TV, which produces Unexpected, has issued a casting call looking for pregnant teen moms who are currently attending a teen pregnancy high school or TaP (Teen and Pregnant) program.
Here’s the description of the show from the casting call, along with details about what producers are looking for and how to apply:
High school is tough. Now imagine going through it pregnant.
Some girls can’t handle it and drop out. But the strongest, most determined and driven, stick it out!
On this inspiring new series we’ll follow [a] group of connected pregnant teens and teenage mothers as they navigate high school, babies and each other! If you recently enrolled in a high school or TAP program specifically designed to bring student moms and moms-to-be together we want to hear from you!
To apply, send us an email with your name, age, location, the name of your high school, a photo and a brief description of your story (including due date) to firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s unclear if the plan is for the new series to join Unexpected on TLC. If so, it won’t be the first time the network has tried this kind of concept.
TLC premiered the special Birth Moms and the limited series High School Moms back in 2012, right at the height of popularity for MTV’s Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2. High School Moms was the exact same concept being pitched in the casting call above as it took cameras inside the halls of a Denver high school catering to teen families. Here is the description of the show from TLC’s press release:
Every high school has its share of drama, from driving lessons and finals to self-esteem issues and boy troubles. At Florence Crittenton High School the students face all of this, but their troubles go beyond finding a date to prom or deciding what outfit to wear…every one of them is a teen mom or mom-to-be. Go behind-classroom-doors with TLC and Discovery Fit & Health and witness what happens when these teenagers try to balance schoolwork, sonograms, diapers and dreams of a bright future.
Birth Moms was a bit different in that it featured three young pregnant moms who were all residing at an adoption center in Orem, Utah during the last month of their pregnancies. As you may have guessed, the moms were at the facility because they were strongly considering placing their babies for adoption. The unfortunate back stories of the young women, combined with the very difficult decision about adoption, made for a very compelling show that I was surprised didn’t get turned into a full series.
Although it didn’t feature teen moms attending the same school, I feel I should also mention TLC’s My Teen Is Pregnant & So Am I, which was initially a single episode special with two couples that premiered in August of 2012. The network opted to give the concept another go with a limited six-episode run featuring four pregnant mother and daughter combos in June of 2013.
The notion of a reality series with pregnant teens at the same school is nothing new for MTV either. Before the TLC shows, but after the initial success of 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, MTV aired the special Baby High. The special featured four teen moms who were attending Westport TAPP, an alternative high school for pregnant teens and teen moms in Louisville, Kentucky.
Speaking of MTV, as their Teen Mom stars continue to get older, the shows continue to evolve away from being about the struggles of being a young parent, and more towards the Real Housewivesian drama between the adults.
The network has pushed story lines involving drama between the moms (like Farrah and the rest of the OG cast, and Kailyn and Briana on Teen Mom 2), so it would make sense that a production company would try to replicate that format from the get go. Just as the casting call states, the moms on the show will be dealing with all of the struggles that the moms from 16 and Pregnant, Unexpected, and Teen Mom deal with. But, they will also have to deal with each other!
What do you think? Will you be tuning in to watch this new teen mom series?
* I opted to use Unexpected star McKayla Adkins in the top photo because of her obvious connection to the producers combined with the fact that she shared the casting call on her Instagram account.