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Welcome to the Neighborhood was an unaired (and quite controversial) reality competition series that was notable for the amount of controversy it garnered before it was aired.
The series featured seven diverse couples competing to win a beautiful dream home on a perfect suburban cul-de-sac in Austin, Texas. Each week, the competing families would have participated in a challenge given by the three neighbors. The three neighborhood families who will be judging the competing families whom all love their quiet, picturesque community and are used to a certain kind of neighbor, one who looks and thinks just like them.
List of Families
- The Crenshaws - A religious African-American family.
- The Eckhardts - A Caucasian/Native American family.
- The Gonzales - A Hispanic family.
- The Lees - A Korean family.
- The Morgans - A Caucasian family with a stripper mother.
- The Sheets - A heavily-tattooed republican Caucasian family.
- The Wrights - A Caucasian homosexual family with an adopted African-American son.
The first two episodes were screened before a group of critics, who lambasted it for the prejudice the judges displayed. One judge openly claimed that he "would not tolerate a homosexual". The still unaired show came under fire from the Family Research Council for concerns that "conservatives could come off looking biased" and from the National Fair Housing Alliance for concerns that the show violated anti-discrimination housing laws, which the show's producers denied. GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), with reservations, approved the show's final message.
Possibly the result of its poor reception, ABC pulled the show from its schedule on July 10, 2005. Although the now-defunct Fox Reality Channel eventually asked for the rights to air it, ABC President Steve McPherson denied the request, claiming moral issues with the very content of the show. The show's producers continue to claim that the show becomes much more light-hearted towards the end of the six episodes when they show "some eyes and hearts opening up, opinions changing and a community transforming". The producers' purported goal was to discover whether a diverse family could be accepted into a white, conservative, upper-class, Christian neighborhood.
The judges did eventually award the house to the gay couple as they moved into the house. However, one of the neighbors of the adjoining block did put his house up for sale, directly citing the homosexuals and the negative attention the show garnered for the Circle C Ranch neighborhood as the reasons why.
A short-lived German version aired on RTL II as "Willkommen in der Nachbarschaft" (Welcome to the Neighborhood) from 2007 until 2008.