And in case you’re wondering how it differs from their previous reality series, “For Peet’s Sake” on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, Holly explained to EUR/Electronic Urban Report that the two series “really won’t differ at all.”
“For Peet’s Sake is a show that we’re so proud of and really resonated with so many American families, especially special needs families. And for reasons that I totally respect, the network decided not to continue with them. I was very disappointed because I felt like we were resonating and I felt like we needed to be set up a little bit better for success to reach as many families as possible,” she explained.
“We talked about some themes that you had not seen on reality TV before and we advocated for families you had not really seen on reality TV before. So I love the fact that the OWN network stuck with us for sixteen shows because it gave us a chance to really sample this genre to see if this is something we wanted to continue with, IF, we were so fortunate to have a network that would scoop us up and we did get that chance.”
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In “Meet the Peetes,” audiences will see Holly and Rodney’s hectic lives as they attempt to balance raising four kids, including one with autism, running their HollyRod charity and spending time with Holly’s 81-year-old mother Dolores, who has been living with the Peete family since her retirement from her career as a talent manager. Their daughter Ryan is in college at New York University while RJ, their son with autism, is working for the Los Angeles Dodgers and decides he’s ready to leave the family nest. On top of that, Holly’s mother Dolores announces she’s ready to move out too – the Peetes are in a period of change that will continue to unfold this season.
“I’m so excited about it. I feel like there’s more plots and more storylines and scenarios. When it was announced that the show was not going to continue on OWN, what I heard was a lot of disappointment from fans saying, “We want to know what the Peete’s are continuing to do.” And there were a lot of questions unanswered…. “What’s going to happen with RJ and his life, and what’s going to happen with your mom?”
The premiere episode, “Let’s Get This Party Started,” kicked off Feb. 18 and featured Holly and Rodney preparing for their twins, Ryan and R.J., big 20th birthday party. But between all the party planning and parenting their other two teenagers, Holly and Rodney start to realize their kids are growing up fast. But are they really ready for their nest to be empty?
Holly says the family is thrilled “to be able to continue to tell these stories, noting that “For Peete’s Sake” and “Meet the Peet’s” are the same show, “just a different outlet, a different network.”
“I do think we’ll be focusing a lot more on the autism piece and RJ’s job and what that’s like for him, and trying to talk to families who are impacted by special needs and continuing to create that awareness,” she added.
“One of the other things we touched on was Rodney’s cognitive health. That was something that I felt was really bold to talk about, because men in general, men of color, do not wish to talk about these things. And we really felt like we were opening that door in a way that was really helpful. I told Rodney, “You showed your brain on national TV.” That was pretty amazing, so we’re continuing that conversation,” Holly revealed.
“There was just a report that came out that said that a large percentage of all these brains that were studied in the NFL of ex-NFL players, almost all had CTE. How would you feel if you were an ex-player now and you’re cognitively trying function and what is that like for the family? So these are issues that we’re going to continue to talk about,” she added.
“We’re just really thrilled to be able to continue on because I was told that we are one of the very few shows that actually get a second chance like this. So we’re going to reach a different audience and still take with us some of the previous audience and hopefully be able to continue this show for years to come.”
“Meet the Peetes” airs new episodes every Sunday night at 10pm ET/PT on Hallmark Channel.