- Little People, Big World
show_name = Little People, Big World
format = Reality
runtime = 30 minutes-1 hour(60 minutes)
opentheme = | endtheme =
country = USA
network = TLC
March 4, 2006
last_aired = Present
num_episodes = 101 (Through Season 3)
list_episodes = List of Little People, Big World episodes| website = http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/lpbw/lpbw.html
imdb_id = 0782374
tv_com_id = 61776
"Little People, Big World" is a reality television series produced in the
United Statesthat airs on TLC. The series follows the six-member Roloff family living near Portland, Oregon. Many of the show episodes focus on the parents, Matt and Amy, and one of their sons, Zach, who all have dwarfism.
"Little People, Big World" debuted on
March 4, 2006and began its second season on October 7, 2006,Martin, Denise. (Apr. 23, 2006), [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117941923?cs=1&s=h&p=0 "TLC thinks big with 'Little'"] . "Variety". Retrieved May 8, 2006.] continuing with the remainder of the second season on April 9, 2007. On October 15, 2007, "Little People, Big World" began its third season, and ended on December 17, 2007. The continuation of the third season premiered on March 3, 2008. [ [http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=20080215tlc01 Breaking News - TLC SHARES THE SECRET LIFE OF A SOCCER MOM | TheFutonCritic.com ] ] "Little People, Big World" will return for Season 4 in the fall of 2008on October 13, 2008 under the title Little People, Bigger World. [ [http://mattroloff.com/ Little People Big World Returns With New Episodes This Fall | http://mattroloff.com/] ] The show is also available for download on iTunes.
The show follows the daily lives of the Roloff family — parents Matt and Amy, and their four children: Zach, Jeremy, Molly and Jacob. Matt, Amy and Zach are little people, while Jeremy, Molly and Jacob are of average height. Teenagers Zach and Jeremy are fraternal twins; although Zach is not of average height, his brother Jeremy is.
The family lives on the 34-acre Roloff Farms, located north of Hillsboro in
Helvetia, Oregon(a suburbof Portland). Although crops of pumpkins are grown and sold by the family, much of the farm has been converted into a series of playground set pieces for the Roloff children. They were designed by Matt, who spent most of his childhood in the hospital. He has tried to make his children's lives the best possible.
Episodes of the show typically showcase one or more members of the Roloff family engaging in everyday activities such as shopping, athletics and dealing with household finances. The drama of the show arises from the fact that many of these activities are made more challenging due to the height of the dwarfs in the family — Matt and Amy are 4'1" (124 cm), Zach is 4'4" (132 cm).
As with any reality show, the segments that are aired are ones that are expected to generate viewer interest. However, "Little People, Big World" avoids portraying the Roloffs in a stereotypical or sensational light. The situations encountered in the show are ones that most families deal with, although the ways in which the Roloffs deal with them are unique to them and are from the perspective of dwarfs.
The Roloffs have several close friends who appear regularly on the show, among them actor
Martin Klebbawho has known Amy for over 20 years.
*Matthew ("Matt") — age|1961|10|7-year-old (b.
October 7, 1961in California) husband and father; Matt's most recent career was in computer softwaresales. As the series began, Matt was no longer employed by the company, but was engaged in establishing the business he co-founded, Direct Access Solutions. The company markets accessibility kits for dwarfs to the hospitality industry. As the first season ended, Matt started another job as a software salesman with Amdocsin order to provide the family with additional income. Matt's type of dwarfism, diastrophic dysplasia, resulted in numerous childhood surgeries. He walks with the aid of crutches and uses a motorized cart when needed.
*Amy — age|1963|9|17-year-old (b.
September 17, 1963in Michigan) wife and mother; Amy is a stay-at-home mother, although she recently took part-time jobs as a soccer coach and preschool teacher to provide the family with additional income. Amy's type of dwarfism is achondroplasia, and she has experienced very few (if any) complications. Amy is a graduate of Central Michigan Universityand expresses the most concern about the children's grades.
*Zachary Luke ("Zach") and Jeremy James ("Jer") — age|1990|5|10-year-old twin brothers (b.
May 10, 1990in Oregon). Jeremy is 5'8" while Zach has achondroplasialike his mother. Zach is 4'4" and Amy is 4'2". Unlike his mother, however, Zach has had numerous medical complications. As a child, Zach had a skull shunt implanted to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid. The shunt failed and had to be replaced surgically (as depicted in the season one episode "Zach's Emergency"). Zach used to play soccer competitively, but stopped playing for a time due to his size compared to the other soccer players. In Season 2-B, he started playing competitive soccer again as he made his high school's soccer team. However, his play is on hold as he recently had surgery to correct bowing of his legs.
*Molly Jo ("Mol") — age|1993|9|17-year-old (b.
September 17, 1993in Oregon) daughter; Molly, who shares a birthday with Amy, is 5'5". She plays volleyballand is a skilled student.
*Jacob George ("Jake") — age|1997|1|21-year-old (b.
January 21, 1997in Oregon) son; Jacob is average height. He plays on a youth soccer team coached by his mother.
Extended family and others in recurring appearances
*Ron Roloff ("Pop") and Peggy Roloff ("Honey") — Matt's average-height parents are shown in numerous episodes. They live a few miles from Roloff Farms. Ron and Peggy had four children: Ruth, Matthew, Joshua, and Sam.
*Mike Detjen — Matt's business partner, a close family friend, and soccer coach, appeared on most episodes. Matt sometimes put Mike in charge when he was away so the farm chores got completed. Amy took care of Mike after the accident that injured Mike and Jacob. On June 5, 2008, the Roloffs announced that Mike had passed away while undergoing an emergency operation to repair a torn aorta. [ [http://mattroloff.com/2008/06/05/devasting-news-to-the-roloff-family/ Roloff Farms Matt Amy Roloff - Devasting News to the Roloff Family | mattroloff.com ] ]
*Camerino — Matt depends on Camerino to help keep the farm running. He is featured on some episodes.
Martin Klebba— longtime friend of the Roloffs (specifically Amy), featured in several episodes.
*Sarah — Jeremy's former girlfriend, featured in a few episodes.
*Kirsten Simoneau — Jeremy's ex-girlfriend, featured in most episodes. She and Jeremy dated for a year in 2007.
*Dani — An average height girl who went to winter formal with Zach in 2007, currently featured in one episode, but has been seen various times in season four. They went on a couple of dates.
*Casey Johnson — Zach's LP friend from California, a competitive paralympic swimmer who went to banquet with Zach during Season 1. Casey is dating Mike Delaney, one of Zach's LP friends from California.
*Eric & Jeff Manuel — LP twins who are friends with Zach, they play on the LA Breakers basketball team.
*William "Bill" Brogden — An LP friend of Zach's who is most notable for his appearance while at a conference in Phoenix, where he filled a plastic bag with water and dropped it from a five story high balcony, shattering a patio table and blaming it on Mike.
*Jen Montzingo — Zach's LP friend from Seattle, although she lived in Portland for a year. She is also close friends with the entire family. She has been featured in two episodes, although is seen in several throughout seasons 2A-3B.
*Jacob Mueller, Brendon Johnson, Dan Meichtry, Bryan Roth & Scott LeSage — school friends of Jeremy and Zach.
*Little Zach — One of Zach's LP friends (called such to differentiate the two, Little Zach is about one foot smaller than Zach). He was featured in an episode that focused on his dad being deployed to Iraq.
For episode information, see:
The first season of "Little People, Big World" generated solid ratings for TLC (especially in the important 18–49
demographic), leading to the show's renewal for a second season.Crupi, Anthony. (Apr. 24, 2006). [http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/news/recent_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002384654 "TLC Gives Little People 2nd Run"] . "Mediaweek". Retrieved May 8, 2006.] Critical reviews of the series have been generally positive, citing the show's positive portrayal of little people.Gelman, Pam. [http://www.commonsensemedia.org/reviews/review.php?id=5159&type=Television Series review] . "Common Sense Media". Retrieved May 8, 2006.] cite web |url=http://www.oregonlive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/entertainment/116441971565530.xml?oregonian?altssf&coll=7&thispage=1 |title="'Little People' delivers big lessons" |accessdate=2006-12-11 |author=Mandel, Michelle |date= 3 December 2006|publisher="The Oregonian" ] Conversely, other reviews have claimed that the show has a voyeuristic bent to it (albeit a non-sexual one), but allows the viewer to feel good about watching because it is not outwardly or overtly exploitive.Kennedy, Dan. (Mar. 24, 2006). [http://www.slate.com/id/2138626/ "Will TLC's new reality show change our perception of dwarfs?"] . "Slate". Retrieved May 8, 2006.] Heffernan, Virginia. (Mar. 4, 2006). [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/04/arts/television/04heff.html?ex=1299128400&en=163859fe12597e42&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss "The Challenges of an Oversize World"] . "The New York Times". Retrieved May 8, 2006.]
Since the show began airing, Roloff Farms has become an extremely popular tourist destination. While the farm and its many attractions have long been available for public viewing during pumpkin season (October), it is now receiving far more visitors than can be accommodated. During the 2006 season, more than 30,000 people arrived to buy pumpkins and tour the farm, which only has space for a few hundred vehicles. The farm was shut down temporarily by Washington County deputies on one Saturday in October 2006, due to massive traffic. Area residents have complained about the
gridlockcaused by the visitors, as well as about the increased media scrutiny the show has brought.cite web|title="Accident adds to scrutiny of Roloff
The Roloffs receive as many as a dozen emails per minute from supporters. The increased exposure, however, has led to safety concerns for the family, who now deal with
trespassers and zealous fans. They recently installed a security gate on their property.
Jacob Roloff (along with family friend Mike Detjen) was seriously injured in an accident on the family farm on Saturday,
October 28, 2006(episode aired April 9, 2007). They were injured when the family's trebuchet, known in the Delaware valley as a "pumpkin chunkin' machine" (which they use to launch pumpkins as part of the pumpkin season promotion), prematurely triggered. Jacob was rushed to nearby Legacy Emanuel Hospital, and underwent surgery to relieve swelling in his head caused by a small piece of skullpushed into his brain. Jacob and Mike were released on Monday, October 30 and have made full recoveries.cite web|title="Pair in pumpkin launch incident still hospitalized"|url=http://www.katu.com/news/4511481.html|accessdate=November 5|accessyear=2006] [cite web |title="Pair in pumpkin launch incident still hospitalized" |url=http://www.katu.com/news/4511481.html |accessdate=November 5 |accessyear=2006 |date=2006-10-29 |publisher= KATU]
Although a TLC camera crew were at the farm recording footage, they were not in the area where the accident occurred. The incident, therefore, was not recorded. Prior to the airing of two new episodes on November 4, TLC aired a brief segment with Matt and Amy acknowledging the accident and thanking everyone for their support. Jacob was shown with what appeared to be an injury around his right eye.
Footage taken shortly after the accident occurred on the farm was shown December 16 in the final minutes of the season finale, "Farm Overload." A crowd had gathered around Jacob, who was lying on the ground near the
trebuchet. The first two episodes of season 3 focus on the accident, and how the local media reacted to it.
* [http://www.tlc.com/littlepeople TLC website]
* [http://www.mattroloff.com Roloff Farms]
* [http://www.imdb.com/company/co0028440/ IMDB: Production Company]
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