The Little Couple: How Bill and Jen ended up on TV
The Little Couple is one of the most genuinely sweet and heart-warming reality shows on television, surpassed perhaps only by the Great British Baking Show in feel-good vibes (to be fair, that show includes copious shots of cakes, too). The TLC hit follows adorable couple Bill and Jen, who are happily married, successful, and juggling work, life, and everything else alongside their cute kids.
All four members of this loving family have some form of skeletal dysplasia, a rare genetic skeletal disorder that resulted in Jen standing at just 3 feet 2 inches while Bill is slightly taller at 4 feet. Anybody who’s tuned into The Little Couple even for a moment will understand instantly what the attraction is for viewers, but was the hook for a reality show based around Bill and Jen as obvious to producers, or the stars themselves?
The Little Couple's Bill and Jen wanted to do some good
As Jen explained in a lengthy chat with The Tampa Bay Times, she was first approached for a spot about a short stature woman pursuing her career by Good Morning America. “A producer saw the segment and asked if they could film our wedding for a TV special. But we said no,” the neonatologist explained, arguing there’s a difference between raising awareness and stoking sensationalism.
But the producers wouldn’t back down, returning to the couple again and again with further ideas, all of which they refused. “Finally they said they wanted to do a series on our daily lives,” and, although the couple felt hesitant, they could sense the tide was turning.
As Jen recalls, she was approached by a little girl who pointed out she was a little person, like those featured on Little People, Big World. “At that time you never heard the term little person from someone who didn’t have a little person in their family. She had learned that term from that show. So, I thought, ‘Okay, maybe we should consider this, maybe we could do some good, too,'” Jen realized.
Filming The Little Couple is not a priority for Bill and Jen
Bill and Jen shot a pilot, it hit, and more than 14 seasons later, they are household names. Due to their demanding full-time jobs, the family only films for The Little Couple a few days a week, with interviews done separately, so it’s not too intrusive.
Thankfully, their kids don’t care about being filmed either. “They are pretty whatever about it. In fact, if a camera gets in the way of what they’re trying to do, they’ll go, ‘Move! Move, move, you’re in my way,'” Jen told Glamour.
Bill and Jen are focused on keeping their lives as normal as possible, so they conduct the majority of their family-based activities off camera. “We want them to grow up in a normal, comfortable environment and experience what they want to experience without it being something that they have to do in front of an audience,” Bill explained.
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