‘Big Kenny and Family’ TV Special Premieres on TLC
Big Kenny is about to become a TV star. The one-half of the duo Big & Rich is starring in a one-hour reality TV special tonight (Sept. 2) on TLC, Big Kenny and Family, along with his wife, stylist and designer Christiev Alphin, and two boys, Lincoln and Dakota.
“It really is a good snapshot of our lives," Christiev Alphin told The Boot and other reporters at a private screening of the episode. "And that was the calm version, but the gist of it and the foundation of it doesn’t alter. We’re a very blessed family, and we know that we’re all a little creative and fun, but we try to make this crazy adventure work."
Big Kenny served as a producer of the show, along with veteran reality TV producer Yanne Debonne, who had nothing but praise for the famous family.
“I’ve been doing what we call ‘alternative programming,’ but reality TV, for 33 years," he says. "Everything you’re seeing here is real. It’s not fake. Christiev and Kenny and their children didn’t do anything that they didn’t want to do, or anything like that. We didn’t put them in scenarios they are uncomfortable with. I have to say, that was a first for me.
"This is as real as it gets," he continued. "I was doing four shows at the same time as this, and I just put all my focus on this, because Kenny and Christiev are real. Kenny pulled me aside from day one and said, ‘This is about me, not TV and being a TV star. If I’m going to do something with my family, it’s got to be real and authentic. I want to reflect who I am, and so this is what this is.'"
The show follows the parents and their young sons through myriad daily activities, including mealtime at home and a family outing, but the parents made it clear that their children were only involved on their own terms.
"When they have their mic packs on, they’re great, but the second that they would say, ‘Yeah, I want to take this off,’ everybody knew, stop, take them off, that’s it," the proud mom explains. "If they choose to be around, that’s great. If they want to come in and out, great. If they want to contribute, great. That’s our family. There’s no intense pressure of, ‘You better do this or else. Wipe your tears.’"
The Alphins have been approached before about displaying their life on the small screen, but never felt the time was right, until now.
“A lot of thought has gone into this," Alphin says. "It’s gone into it for years. We’ve been asked over and over again to do something like this, and none of us ever felt -- Kenny and I never felt comfortable, never had a peace. The whole team came together at the right time. But the underlying message at all times was, it has to be inspirational. It has to be different.
"You can have a sneak peek into it," she continued. "If we all choose to go on, and hopefully go into series, that will continue on in many different versions of a week at home."
Big Kenny and Family will air tonight (Sept. 2) at 10PM ET on TLC.