Premiering next month, TLC will follow a couple, who are both widowed, as they combine their large families while living in Utah. Together they will face struggles with their new family dynamic, adoption, and sibling rivalries.
Spencer and Erica Shemwell share a combined eleven kids from their previous marriages. Spencer has four kids, Brayden, 12, Harper, 8, Avery, 6, and Bexley, 4; and Erica has seven kids, Landon, 12, Emma, 10, Lily, 9, Sophie, 8, Tanner, 6, Amelia, 5, and Caleb, 3.
They both get emotional talking about their previous spouses
In a touching clip, both Spencer and Erica share their heartbreaking stories of losing their previous spouses.
Erica, 33, says, “My husband, Tony, passed away from brain cancer three years ago — I feel like my heart was ripped out of my chest,” as her voice dwindles and she fights to keep her composure.
Spencer struggles through tears, saying, “I lost my wife, Amy, in a car accident. And I remember sitting the kids all in my lap, and said, Mommy passed away.”
Spencer and Erica met online via a widow support group and married 13 months later. On their new reality show, audiences will watch as the Shemwells navigate combining their large blended family of thirteen.
During their sit-down interview, Erica says they’re kind of like the “modern-day Brady Bunch.”
Spencer replies, “except we have no Alice. We need an Alice.”
When the producer asks two of their daughters what the hardest part about blending a family is, they both point at the other say “Her,” illustrating classic sibling rivalry.
Spencer and Erica share a kiss in the kitchen and one of the kids says, “stop being inappropriate!” while covering their faces.
A clip shows Spencer showing the family what he calls the “Amy tree,” which appears to be a tribute to his late wife. Erica wonders if Spencer has moments that he wishes that Amy was here instead of her.
In another clip, Erica expresses that she has panic attacks, apparently from her dealing with her late husband’s terminal cancer diagnosis.
Erica’s brother, Quinn, is leery about Spencer and Erica’s reasoning for marrying and wonders about their intentions. About Spencer marrying his sister, Quinn says, “It’s kind of like, what are you doing?”
Spencer announces to Erica’s brother and some other family members that they’re “adopting the kids.” Erica’s brother, Quinn, bluntly voices that if he died, he doesn’t know if he’d want his kids having another man’s last name.
TLC’s President makes a statement about the new series
Speaking on the plethora of family dynamics portrayed on their network, Howard Lee, President of TLC, says, “Our family series are a cornerstone of programming at TLC, and these days, the word family has expanded to mean many things. We are constantly evolving and the Shemwells are a wonderful reflection of the varied families in today’s world.”
TLC currently airs several other unique family series showcasing large and varied families, such as Outdaughtered, Counting On (a spinoff of The Duggar family’s 19 Kids and Counting), and Welcome to Plathville.
The Blended Bunch Premieres Tuesday, March 16 at 9/8c on TLC.