October 25, 2012 12:08pm PT by Michael O'Connell
TLC's 'Breaking Amish' Confronting Cast History, Fraud Accusations in Reunion Special
TLC's Breaking Amish cast is reuniting for a two-part special.
The move, a first for the network, follows strong ratings and interest for the reality series, which was accused of faking its cast's stories early in its current first season. All five castmembers, five formerly Amish and Mennonite individuals starting new lives in New York City, will return for a two-hour panel hosted by NBC’s Michelle Beadle.
STORY: TLC's 'Breaking Amish' to Address Fraud Accusations in Series
Although the series has been billed as a fly-on-the-wall look at people fresh out of the Amish and Mennonite communities, reports citing photos on Facebook and Myspace claimed that the castmembers had long been integrated into mainstream society.
At the time, TLC released the following statement: "There is a lot of information floating around about the group featured on Breaking Amish. Much of it is not true, but some of it is -- and is addressed in upcoming episodes.”
Although the extent of any fraud has yet to come to light during the series' run, which goes through Nov. 11, a release for the reunion says that will be a topic of discussion: "From drunken fights and hookups, to whether any of them have been married, have kids or have been arrested, it's a raw discussion revealing intimate details about their lives and relationships."
The 10-episode freshman run of Breaking Amish has thus far been a victory for TLC. Not only has every episode since the premiere topped 3 million viewers in its inaugural viewing, recent episodes have all hit a 1.3 rating with adults 18-49. That demo score matches the strong returns for zeitgeisting network sibling Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
No official decision has been made yet on a second season of the series.
Breaking Amish is produced by Hot Snakes Media for TLC, with Peacock Productions producing the reunion special.