April 03, 2013 7:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
TLC Orders 'Breaking Amish' Spinoff With Original Cast (Exclusive)
This story first appeared in the April 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
TLC is reinventing its Amish wheel.
The cable network has ordered Breaking Amish: A Brave New World, a spinoff of its controversial series featuring its five original castmembers, THR has learned exclusively.
Brave New World -- which essentially is the second season of the series but rebranded -- will reunite original castmembers Abe, Rebecca, Kate, Sabrina and Jeremiah as they make a fresh start in a large ex-Amish community in Sarasota, Fla., where they're surprised to discover even more culture shock, unexpected enemies and surprises from family members with their own agendas. The series will feature love triangles, dramatic moments between the roommates, surprise visits, financial woes and career decisions as the group attempt to acclimate to their new "English" lives in yet another unfamiliar city.
With what was planned to be the second season of Breaking Amish becoming the spinoff, the flagship series will feature three new women and four men, with production set to begin in the spring for a late-summer premiere.
“The Breaking Amish franchise is a remarkable look at individuals facing a critical crossroads in their lives: whether to pursue the dreams they’ve always had or stay in the only life they’ve ever known," TLC GM Amy Winter said. "Both iterations of the series follow a group of young men and women on their own journeys of self-discovery, complex relationships and understanding the world around them."
Breaking Amish ranks as TLC's best-performing first-year entry, with an average viewership of 3.2 million. The series' authenticity was criticized early during its run for featuring a cast that had been removed from their respective Amish and Mennonite communities for years.
Breaking Amish: A Brave New World, which also hails from Hot Snakes Media for TLC, will premiere at 10 p.m. Sunday, May 12.