It’s Ground-Breaking Real-Life Entertainment – Dig It?


NEW YORK, NY, MARCH 12, 2004 – It’s the perfect marriage of real-life warmth and stone-cold death. FAMILY PLOTS, A&E Network’s new series chronicling the curious comings and goings of a real Southern California family-run mortuary, premieres on Monday, April 19, 2004 at 9pm ET / PT and 8pm CT.

Here at San Diego’s Poway Bernardo Mortuary, the staff – an intriguing assortment of family members and other unusual characters -- compassionately console grieving families on a daily basis. Three beautiful sisters, their hot-blooded father, an exacting boss, a quirky funeral director, and a stream of anguished patrons, comprise the cast of this groundbreaking new real-life show.

The staff, argumentative but affectionate, features: Head Mortician Shonna, who brought the rest of her family into the business; Shonna’s younger sister Emily, Office Manager and Funeral Director in training; Shonna and Emily’s eldest sister Melissa, Assistant Funeral Director; Rick Sadler, who runs the operation; Funeral Assistant, body remover and amateur boxing trainer Chuck Wissmiller, who also happens to be Shonna, Melissa and Emily’s father; apprentice embalmer John; and Funeral Director David, whose obsessive-compulsive detail oriented behavior has earned him the nickname “Rainman.”

Nancy Dubuc and Robert Sharenow are the executive producers for A&E Network. FAMILY PLOTS is produced for A&E Network by Hybrid Films. Daniel Elias is the director and executive producer. David Houts is executive producer.

Now reaching more than 85 million homes, A&E Network brings viewers the Art of EntertainmentTM through a unique combination of three genres – The Art of Biography, The Art of Documentary, and The Art of Drama. A brand synonymous with excellence in television, A&E Network offers a diverse mix of programming ranging from critically acclaimed original series and movies, to innovative documentaries, to the Emmy Award-winning Biography® series, to dramatic specials, feature film presentations, and contemporary performances. Over the past five years, A&E Network holds the distinct record for the most Primetime Emmy nominations (73) for a basic cable network.

The 2004 primetime line-up includes several new series, featuring the premieres of: Airline, a behind-the-scenes look at the drama and the hilarity of commercial air travel with Southwest Airlines; Family Plots, a groundbreaking new reality show that takes a look at the personal and professional lives of the family members who run the Poway Bernardo Mortuary; and Growing Up Gotti, chronicling the life of Victoria Gotti, famous daughter of John Gotti, successful magazine editor, and mother of three teenage boys. The 2004 schedule also includes a host of topical and timely documentary specials, including Boomer Nation, In Harm’s Way, and a quarterly series titled Behind the Blockbusters, bringing viewers the true stories behind the topics of Hollywood’s biggest releases. Great drama also remains the heart of the A&E Network brand with upcoming original movies such as See Arnold Run, Hillary’s Choice, and Ike: Thunder In June.

The A&E Network website is located at www.aetv.com and the Biography® website is located at www.Biography.com. The Biography Club is located at www.BiographyClub.com.

Family Plots website