As TV’s beloved “Supernanny,” Jo Frost spent seven seasons coming to the rescue of parents whose tots created havoc – but she says she did much of her best counseling when the cameras were off. Frost pulled the plug on her long-running ABC hit in 2011 and began contemplating a new show in which she could assist all kinds of clans, not just those in need of the “naughty step.”
“I wanted to be able to create a format that allows me to help the whole family,” Frost tells Zap2it. “And I wanted to be able to look at 21st-century issues.”
The resulting series, “Family S.O.S. With Jo Frost,” airs Tuesdays on TLC and features Frost helping households dealing with impending divorce, bullying, relocation, rebellious teens and other family-fracturing issues.
Frost says she was adamant that the new show not make light of what the families were going through and that it show how she held them accountable for their own recovery.
“I wanted it to be very grounded and real,” Frost explains. “I was like, ‘Out with the diddly-diddly music! If it’s raw, let it be raw! Don’t cover it up!’ These are real families with real issues. You really feel like that fly on the wall.”
During her seven years on “Supernanny,” Frost also got a firsthand look at the impact of the collapse of the American economy on its families – something she says has given her a better understanding of the harrowing challenges parents face today. She says she focuses her efforts on helping family members let go of the past and focus on creating the best possible future.
“When we feel fearful, we tend to hold onto what was yesterday,” Frost says. “You’ve got to be able to move forward. So I gave families the guidance and the support to find more clarity, because at times they were feeling emotionally overwhelmed. And for some of those families, it brought new beginnings. It let families focus on what they were really passionate about and gave them the opportunity to do that.”