For ‘Family Foreman,’ the Gloves Are On

From Olympian to heavyweight boxing champ to grill pitchman, George Foreman’s career has been captured on television. Now he’s taking it one step further with his new reality show, Family Foreman (TV Land, tonight, 10 ET/PT). It follows Foreman as he tries to balance fatherhood with his businesses.

But Foreman, 59, warns not to expect typical reality-show conflict on his Texas ranch. “You see that our daughters have talents, we travel and we grill,” he says.

The only spat on the show, he says, erupts when his wife, Mary, or “Joan,” as he calls her, learns he wants to box again. “That’s out of the way now,” he says. “Everything resolves.”

The six-episode run features a continuing battle with his twentysomething daughter, Natalie, who is pursuing a singing career. Foreman says he’d rather see her become a doctor. “We’ll work on that sooner or later,” he promises.

In addition to Natalie, five of Foreman’s 10 children will appear on the show: George III, 25; Leola, 21; George IV, 20; George V, 17; and George VI, 8.

Giving his five sons his name helps keep the family in line, Foreman says. “If one does well, we all do well,” he says. “It keeps us on the straight and narrow.”

He concedes, though, that he confuses his sons.

“You can’t keep them all straight,” he says. “I used to have nicknames for them, but I forget them. Now I just call out ‘George.’ ” And the confusion can be embarrassing, he acknowledges, particularly when teachers call and say, “I need to talk to you about George.”

His reply: “Well, which one?”

Most of his children have appeared in commercials, so being on camera comes natural to them, Foreman says. “There was nothing hard about it,” he says. “My wife was the only newcomer.”

Still, seeing themselves on camera gave them “a reality check,” Foreman says. “Everyone saw themselves and said ‘This is not me’ and decided to get into shape,” he says. Now, “no one in the house is above a size 6.”

Foreman says he tried to get into television for years. In 1993, he starred in the ABC sitcom George, but it lasted for only one season.

He wants his new series to show how he achieved success for his family. As a child, he moved often, he says, and dreamed of a stable home with a refrigerator full of delicious food and a car outside that didn’t have a repossession note on it.

“Now I have two refrigerators, two cars, two homes,” he says. “I have achieved the American Dream.”

Originally published in USA Today.

Comments are closed.