If you thought Married at First Sight Australia's wheels fell off when it came to contrived partner swapping, TVNZ 2 is about to deliver the real deal.
This winter the network will bring you Wife Swap New Zealand, which promises a diverse, intimate and fascinating look inside Kiwi households. The show is billed as an exciting new social experiment with integrity and drama, of course, along the way.
Following 16 families, the reality show sees one parent wave goodbye to the world they know and make themselves at home with a new family for a week.
Like the earlier international versions, Wife Swap New Zealand will start with the mothers — or fathers — arriving at their new homes and meeting their temporary families. Aided only by an instruction manual left by their predecessor, they must spend half their time living according to the often difficult and bizarre rules of the house.
In the second half of the swap, they can run the household however they want.
TVNZ is keeping the details of the families a secret for now but we've been told the cast will include a single mum, eco-evangelists, gay champion dog-breeders, blended families and deeply religious households reflecting, TVNZ says, the modern Kiwi household.
Wife Swap has been on air around the world for more than 15 years, and the format has proved a worldwide success, getting straight to the heart of how we live and love. So far, the show has proved a hit in the US, the UK, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania,
Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia and France.
Viewers have been hooked by the drama of matching families from vastly different backgrounds.
We are told Kiwis will be just as interesting: expect outbursts, misunderstandings, emotional breakthroughs and redemptions galore as the swapped-out parents follow the rules of an adopted household — and then get to change them.
"Wife Swap is an iconic format with a global following. The series has a unique fish-out-of-water quality that strongly resonates with viewers. We're excited to see this show reimagined for 2019 on TVNZ and to celebrate the diversity of New Zealand families," says Cate Slater, TVNZ director of content.
We can't wait for a winter of drama, tears and understanding, as cameras follow the journey to often common ground . . . and perhaps sometimes not.