How Nine crossed generational lines with My Mum Your Dad

my mum your dad

EP John Walsh on why the team brought the format to Australia

Channel Nine is bringing a whole new sort of dating show to Australian screens, with My Mum Your Dad

While a group of mums and dads are gathered at a luxury retreat trying to find love, their kids have taken up residence in a remote bunker to watch their parents’ every move. Not only do they have them under surveillance, but they also have a big hand in who their parents date.

So how well do the kids really know their parents? 

Mediaweek spoke to Nine Network executive producer John Walsh ahead of the show’s premiere at 7.30pm November 7, on Channel Nine and 9Now.

my mum your dad

John Walsh

My Mum Your Dad is an ITV format that has only been done in the USA, with Australia being the second territory to pick it up. Walsh says that the cross-generational approach of the original was what really made an impact on the team.

“The concept is great, the cross-generational thing really appealed to us. It’s for commercial free to air, and so we’re trying to get as broad an audience as we can. The show has parallel featured casts – a cast of 20-somethings and a cast of 40 to 60-somethings. That was ideal for us, I really liked the idea of it.”

Of course, bringing in two parallel casts means going out and casting two parallel groups of people – an undertaking that Walsh says was made more difficult by the fact that they needed both participants to be solid talent.

“There were two casting calls that went out: one for parents interested in dating and looking for love the second time around, and then there was a casting call more directed at the kids, saying if you’ve got a single parent looking for love, would you like to nominate them? At that stage, that’s all the kids thought they were doing, nominating their parents. 

“We interviewed them together and we interviewed them separately to assess them as talent. It was tricky, because we needed them both to be strong. We’re very lucky with the cast we landed with.”

my mum your dad

Once the team had their cast, it was time to send the adults into the house the show was being filmed in, and say goodbye to their kids… or so they thought. Walsh says that there was a lot of secrecy involved in pulling the big twist off, and that the team was lucky they got away with it.

“The parents knew they were going onto a location in a house and with other singles, so they kind of knew what to expect. The kids were asked to set aside a period of days in the shooting schedule to be interviewed about what it’s like to be the child of a single parent, but they didn’t actually know that they were going to be in a house themselves.”

Leading both sets of My Mum Your Dad participants through their journey is Kate Langbroek, who Wals says was the perfect pick for the show.

“Because we’ve got a cast of 40 to 60-somethings and a cast of 20-somethings, we needed a host that was going to be relatable to both.

“Kate has teenagers, she’s the fun mum. She’s a bit quirky, so the kids really related to her in that way. Of course, the parents knew her better from her long period in the media and on TV, and so they responded to her in that way.”

my mum your dad

Kate Langbroek

It’s high emotion all around in the series as the parents open themselves up to love and the kids see their parents in a whole new light. When asked whether he was worried about dealing with a situation where someone thought there was nobody good enough for their parent, Walsh says that the surprising thing about the show was just how invested the kids are in the whole process – but ultimately their parents’ happiness was the goal.

“Some of them are very protective of their parents’ love life – they often will vet their parents’ date, and if they’re swiping for people on Tinder they’ll have a big opinion on who they should swipe for. 

“It was no different in this situation where they could see a potential love interest developing. The kids have a lot at stake.”

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