Is TLC bringing back Little People, Big World?

So, everyone is asking “Is TLC bringing back the Little People, Big World
series?

This has been a typical comment/email we’ve
received:

Spiritswander,

Did you see Matt Roloff’s
latest facebook post about LPBW returning? Do you have any insight on
this?

For
the last month or two, Matt has been suggesting TLC has been beating down the
Roloffs door to bring back the show. It reached a fever pitch yesterday, April
25th, when Matt posted on his Facebook Fan Page:

“Art, I thought we already announced that the show would
be back. If not… Well do that soon as well” And “Amy and I just worked out a tentative filmIng schedule
for the lpbw episodes we’ll be filming this year”.

For her part,
Amy has sent mixed signals in her public postings and statements about the
subject. When fans have asked in her live internet talk show Amy has said there
is a possibility maybe of a Christmas or holiday update special. However, more
recently, on April 13th when a fan wrote to Amy that she misses seeing the
Roloffs on television, Amy replied “Thanks Laurie
for the kind thoughts. you never know. not anytime soon I think.” However
when people confronted her that she and Matt were sending two different messages
to fans – Amy denied that anyone was misleading the fans and said there is a
possibility. On April 18, in response to fans excitedly telling her they are
glad to hear “the news” that LPBW is returning, Amy wrote: “Wow! I so appreciate all of the positive feedback
regarding the possibility of something LPBW back on TLC. Have no idea yet. it’s
media, network, and things to work out. We shall see.”

On the same
day, Matt “confirmed” the show was coming back, April 25th, within hours of
Matt’s posting, Amy wrote on her Facebook Fan Page: “Ok, you all are asking what is this about LPBW ‘specials’
- a lot of talk is going on and we shall see. Calendars, schedules, more
discussions need to be had…. “.

So this is the Spiritswander
take on the issue after consulting with our sources that are connected with the
show on the latest:

People that have been lead to believe by Matt’s hints
that the *series* is returning, fans who are now posting excited comments such
as “Season 7 will be the best ever” might be disappointed.

We are
told a handful of specials are being talked about, probably about four or five
specials. The idea is that they’ll quickly film and produce them in lightning
quick speed by LPBW standards to get them ready for air by the summer. It was
stressed to us that it’s a few specials and *not* the series returning for an
entire season (typically a LPBW season was 40 episodes, split into two parts).
It was also stated to us in terms that were not official or definite quite
yet.


So there you have what we’re hearing from
our sources that are not Roloffs — it is actually very similar to what Amy had
to say about it yesterday ‘talk going on about ‘specials’ and still in talks,
although that is the idea in mind.

As for the way Matt presents things, a
lot of the same elements remain relevant as we stated in our article about TLC
cancelling Little People, Big World.

http://spiritswander.blogspot.com/2010/08/tlc-cancelled-little-people-big-world.html

Matt’s
M.O. is that he suggests things to get people talking; hoping something comes of
it. Also it’s not in Matt’s personality to *ever* give the perception that he is
desperate — he will always make it sound like he’s the one being sought after.
Always.

The specials are always something TLC had a right to when they
cancelled the show. As readers of our site know — despite the Roloff spin – TLC
did cancel it when the Roloffs thought the show would continue for another 80
episodes (and Matt is on video in July 2010 stating the show would go on for at
least 2 more years — then TLC decided to end the series after only 20 episodes
which they announced in August.

There were several factors that went into
TLC’s decision then — here are some of them according to our
sources.

*The ratings had declined. TLC needed to slash the travel
budget. Compare how much travel you saw in 09 — Europe — compared to ’2010? If
any travel was shown it was done by “Roloff cam” — we’re told the Roloffs
requested certain vacations for 2010 but were turned down because of the slashed
travel budget.

*The Roloffs were more demanding — both financially and
in seeking control. Matt and Amy becoming producers made things more difficult.
There were an increasing amount of “real” things that they needed to avoid or
couldn’t include.

*Matt has been referred to as being difficult to work
with. There was a once prominent Little People, Big World producer whose
departure, was said to be primarily as a result of a dispute with a certain
Roloff. You might recall when Amy had Zach on her coffee chat live internet talk
show, she asked him who was his favorite crew member? Zach leaned into Amy and
whispered “Am I allowed to say?” before answering “Eric”. Why do you suppose
Zach would wonder if he was allowed to give his answer to a rather harmless
sounding question? We were told that’s the explanation and the reason for the
dispute between said producer and said Roloff is cloaked in “I’d have to kill
you if I told you” type TLC secrecy…

So despite the warm and fuzzy way
that Matt always presents it, things didn’t finish that well. And yes, we are
well aware of Matt’s public comments praising TLC. I think a lot of people are
wise enough to understand that what is said publicly between the stars and a
network don’t usually represent what really was happening (Charlie Sheen
notwithstanding!). You might recall in the summer of 2010, Matt posted a few
times about how TLC executives were dropping in at Roloff Farm for coffee and
biscuits just to tell the Roloffs how much they loved them…then in late August
they dropped the bomb that they were ending the show immediately — so you can
decide for yourself if you believe Matt’s version of the visit to be completely
accurate.

However, most of these things come down to ratings and the fact
is LPBW ratings were in decline. You can follow the links below for a detailed
analysis of ratings for Season 5 Part A, Season 5 Part B and Season
6.

Season 5 Part A: http://spiritswander.blogspot.com/2010/01/television-ratings-for-finale-of-little.html

Season
5 Part B: http://spiritswander.blogspot.com/2010/06/little-people-big-world-finale-roloff.html

It
was after the conclusion of Season 5B airing and the start of Season 6 that TLC
decided the show would come to an end.

Season 6: http://spiritswander.blogspot.com/2010/12/television-ratings-for-finale-of-little.html

In
the glory days as the lead in to the hit show Jon and Kate Plus 8, the Roloffs
would often get ratings in the 2′s. As the Jon and Kate show fell apart, you can
see what happened to the LPBW ratings. In Season 5A — which were the episodes
that included the extensive travel episodes (The almost month long European
vacation) LPBW ratings fell to where they were often 1.7′s. You can see in
Season 5B, they fell even more drastically. Premiere episodes were higher and
then the season finale received 2.2 rating, however “normal” episodes (no
dramatic cliff hangers, not hyped as the finale) were usually in the 1.1 – 1.3
range.

That’s a considerable drop off from what LPBW received in the
past. The highest rated LPBW episode ever was in Season 3 – Matt’s DUII trial
episodes — they were ratings in the 3′s. The highest rated episode in season 4
were the episodes about Mike Detjen’s death — those received ratings around
2.4.

However, as stated, when episodes were not centered around dramatic
plots like a highly publicized trial or the death of a person seen on the show
or the series finale (a 2.2 rating), the ratings had often fallen to between
1.1′s and 1’3′s. To put that in perspective, a current show on TLC such as
“Extreme Couponing” most recent episode received a 2.265 rating. Obviously shows
like that are much cheaper and easier to produce than LPBW. They don’t have the
salary demands of the Roloffs who are veterans of 6 seasons and over 200
episodes. They don’t have the same power struggle issues.

Also, keep in
mind that a lot of the people that worked on the show, have already moved on to
other shows.

Finally, another factor people should be aware of when
observing Matt’s public comments about this is the realization that the Roloffs
are basically at the mercy of TLC in a lot of ways. Matt can talk about all
these other offers he has all he wants, but TLC has their exclusivity rights to
the Roloffs — which we are told actually runs longer than most people think –
which is common practice for networks and reality TV stars.

We just
wanted to lay that out there to give people who might be wondering why wouldn’t
TLC want to bring LPBW back for an entire season, an idea of some of the real
reasons because things aren’t always as Matt presents them. If you rely strictly
on Matt for your LPBW info, you would never know the fact that ratings for
normal episodes had fallen quite a bit (even the *series finale* didn’t bring
ratings as high as finales in previous seasons), and of course Matt always
presents things as though the Roloffs and TLC were one big happy
family.

Our goal is simply to relay what we know accurately. We don’t
have an agenda. If we knew things that completely meshed with Matt’s version
then we would have no trouble reporting that. Basically there are only two
outlets that are still actively posting news about the Roloffs. Matt’s own
Facebook Fan Page (and to a lesser degree Amy — mainly when fans ask her about
what Matt is saying) and our site. If we know certain things that contradict the
way Matt presents them, we feel obligated to let people know so they don’t have
their chains yanked rather than just sitting on what we know.

So although
we aren’t hearing as of this minute that it is set in stone, there is a little
bit for LPBW fans to be excited about. There are talks regarding a few specials
and they could be hitting TV screens fairly soon. However, the entire series is
not actually returning.

There’s often a few kernels of truth in what Matt
says, but people in the know always advise to be leery of Matt Roloff spin –
because things are quite often not exactly how Matt makes them sound.

 

Source: Spiritswander

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