Where is american housewife filmed?

Is Westport A Real Town? This ‘American Housewife’ Setting Is Homey & Historical

Television shows and movies don’t usually hone in on small towns for settings — it’s too easy to have characters live in Not-A-Real-Town, Iowa, or Won’t-Find-On-A-Map, Arizona, or New York City, because in a city of 11 million people, who could get angry with comparisons to real life? In many shows, especially family comedies, it doesn’t really matter where the family is living — the jokes still happen, and the comedy is relatable. ABC’s new comedy American Housewife has taken the other side of things, choosing to set the Otto family in Westport, Connecticut. Is Westport, Connecticut a real town on American Housewife ?

Considering the fact that the original name of the show was The Second-Fattest Housewife In Westport , Westport plays a big role on American Housewife. The premise of the comedy is this — Katy Otto and her family moved to the tiny town of Westport because the school districts are amazing, and Katy and her husband are really trying to set their kids up for success. They may not fit into the same income bracket as everyone in the town, but they’re renting a nice little house and are dealing with it anyway. American Housewife portrays Westport as very tiny and very inclusive — Katy isn’t one of the skinny stay-at-home mothers who does SoulCycle and drinks green juice all day before checking in to make sure that their kids are still with the nanny. She is double-chinned (in her own words), pizza-stained, and hands-on with everything in her life. Katy is an other in Westport.

I don’t think that it’s fair that American Housewife paints the Westport moms with such a wide brush — they are wealthy, sure, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own problems — but I guess it’s necessary for the sake of the show’s comedy. I wonder, though, if it’s weird for the wealthy moms who are actually in Westport. Do they like being portrayed like that on television? Westport is indeed a real place with actual people. I did a little research on any public outcry in regards to the show and couldn’t find any. In fact, one commenter was actually saddened that American Housewife changed its name and didn’t keep the town in the title.

Located in coastal Connecticut’s Fairfield County about 50 miles northeast of New York City, Westport may have a reputation of being moneyed, but it goes much deeper than that. According to WestportCT.gov, Westport was settled unofficially around 1648, with the first church built in 1711 — the whole town is basically older than the whole country. The town’s website describes how community-driven its residents are, and discusses how its ability to combine old and new makes it a wonderful place to live, reading, “It is this dichotomy between affluent suburb and an old New England town that applies to Westport.”

The biggest attractions in Westport? According to TripAdvisor, people love the Westport Country Playhouse, to see the latest theater productions; Compo Beach, for a swim or a sunset; Sherwood Island State Park, to get back in touch with nature; and the Westport Library, which has programs for kids and adults.

So, yes — Westport is a real place, and its role as the setting on American Housewife definitely matters to the show. However, it’s definitely more than yoga legging-clad moms and Range Rovers, so go give it a visit and discover more for yourself.

Images: Tony Rivetti/ABC (3)

Poll Final Results Voting Closed

Plan On Watching “American Housewife?”

  • Yes, love to see how they portray Westport 71%
  • No. Am too busy with running kids around to watch 29%

Back to Vote

The show, originally titled “The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport,” revolves around Katie Otto, played by Katy Mixon, her husband, Jeff (Diedrich Bader), their three children, and the fact that none of them quite fit into, in Otto’s words, their “hoity-toity” Connecticut environment.

Some of the Twitter previews poke fun at suburban Lululemon-wearing moms with comments like “Beware of the moms that wear two Fitbits.” Otto’s character is billed as a “revolutionary” who objects to constantly dieting and working out; she even wears the pizza stains on her shirt proudly.

According to Executive Producer Kenny Schwartz, “American Housewife” is based on the real-life goings on of Series Creator Sarah Dunn (“Spin City,” “Bunheads”) who lives in Garrison and wanted to showcase a story about the challenges of raising a family and hoping your kids turn out to be authentic people.

“She thought her hometown was a little too small of a town and felt that people recognized Westport more,” he explained. “She picked Westport because it reminded her of her Garrison.”

In the end, despite the tristate area connection, “American Housewife” is shot in California. It premieres Monday, Oct. 11 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.

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‘American Housewife’ Season 4: Release date, plot, cast and all you need to know about the ABC comedy

If you’re a family comedy junkie, then you will be glad!

ABC has ordered a fourth season of the Katy Mixon-led comedy American Housewife. Created by Sarah Dunn the series stars Mixon as Katie Otto, a confident, unapologetic wife and mother of three who raises her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, CT. Katie’s perfectly imperfect world is upended when her neighbor’s decision to move notches her up from her ideal social standing and sets her on a path to ensure that doesn’t happen, regardless of the consequences.

‘American Housewife’ hails from ABC Studios and Kapital Entertainment. The show was nominated for a People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy. With 10 writers — an equal split of male and female with experience ranging from one who’s never worked in TV to others who’ve been doing it for 20 years — Dunn has made the constant effort to make the show funny, successful and inclusive. Here’s all you need to know about the renewed season for the family comedy.

Release date

The series was renewed for Season 4 on May 2019 and premiered on September 27, 2019, on ABC. After the winter break, more episodes of the series will follow on Friday, January 17, 2020.


‘ American Housewife’ is probably the first show on TV that totally focuses on what it must be like to be a stay-at-home mom (or parent). The show tackles a lot of issues since there is the stereotype that housewives don’t do anything substantial other than taking care of the house and kids and that their world should revolve around it. These issues could be family-related, work-related, school-related, or just personal issues.

Katy Mixon

Katy Mixon (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Getty Images)

Katy Mixon stars in the lead role in ABC’s American Housewife. The family comedy is narrated by Katie (Mixon), a strong-willed mother, raising her flawed family in a wealthy town filled with perfect wives and their perfect offspring. Katie, a constantly wisecracking stay-at-home mom, embodies a kind of raw enthusiasm for life that is at odds with the other housewives in Westport — who are, in her mind, yoga-pants-clad, Fitbit-wearing, green-juice-toting skinny women.

Diedrich Bader

Diedrich Bader (Getty Images)

Diedrich Bader plays Greg Otto, Katie’s husband on the show.

He has starred in ‘The Drew Carey Show’ and Lawrence from the film ‘Office Space’. Bader has had roles in animated features such as ‘Ice Age’, ‘Surf’s Up’, ‘The Simpsons’, and voiced the role of Batman in the animated television series ‘Batman: The Brave and Bold’.

Meg Donnelly

Meg Donnelly (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Starring as Taylor Otto, Donnelly shines as the eldest of Katy’s three children, who was an awkward, homely student until about three months ago when she suddenly grew out of her ‘ugly-duckling phase’.

She has starred in Disney Channel’s original movie ‘Zombies’, Indie drama ‘The Broken Ones’ (AMK Films). Her first series regular role was on Netflix’s ‘Team Toon’. She has also acted in ABC’s top-rated series ‘What Would You Do?’ and is a featured soloist in the 54 Below production of ‘Von Trapp Children: from Sound of Music Live!’

Daniel DiMaggio

Daniel DiMaggio (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Daniel DiMaggio plays the role of Oliver Otto, Katy’s son.

DiMaggio also played young Superman in the series ‘Supergirl’, ‘Daddy’s Home 2’, ‘Tales of Halloween’ and ‘A Tiger’s Tale’.

Julia Butters

Julia Butters (Getty Images)

Julia Butters plays the role of Anna-Kat Otto.

Apart from the Otto family, you have Katie’s best friends Doris and Angela, who are played by Ali Wong and Carly Hughes, respectively. Other recurring cast members in the show include Leslie Bibb as Viv, Carly Craig as Tara Summers, Logan Pepper as Cooper Bradford, Jeannette Sousa as Suzanne, Jessica St. Clair as Chloe Brown Mueller, Timothy Omundson as Stan Lawton, and Amarr M. Wooten as Eyo, to name a few.

Sarah Dunn

Executive producer Sarah Dunn speaks onstage at the ‘American Housewife’ panel discussion during the Disney ABC Television Group portion of the 2016 Television Critics Association Summer Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 4, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Dunn executive produces the American Housewife alongside Aaron Kaplan, Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz. She is also a novelist whose works include ‘The Big Love’ (2005), ‘Secrets to Happiness’ (2009), and ‘The Arrangement’ (2017). Her books have been translated into 19 different languages.

The pitch for American Housewife stemmed from the fact that, in the upstate New York town where Dunn lived with her journalist husband and young son and daughter, now 7 and 6 years old, she had become “the second fattest housewife.” (The original title of the show was actually The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport, but it was changed because Dunn feels the new title “opens doors instead of closing them.”) “I really don’t think you need to be 40 and have three kids and have a body of an 18-year-old,” Dunn says, echoing something Katie says nearly word for word in the American Housewife pilot. “I really think we need to get out of that mindset.” “They can be proud of their body and of what they’re doing, and they can see themselves on TV. That’s all I really want.”

Where to watch

‘American Housewife’ airs at 8 pm on Fridays on ABC and can be streamed on the ABC Live website and Hulu.

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Norwalk calls on TV network to end prime-time insults

  • Actress Katy Mixon as Westport housewife Katie Otto in the “Boar-Dain” episode of “American Housewife.” The prime-time sitcom has upset many in Norwalk with the disparaging jokes aimed at the city. Actress Katy Mixon as Westport housewife Katie Otto in the “Boar-Dain” episode of “American Housewife.” The prime-time sitcom has upset many in Norwalk with the disparaging jokes aimed at the city. Photo: Michael Ansell / ABC Via Getty Images

Photo: Michael Ansell / ABC Via Getty Images Image 1 of / 5



Image 1 of 5 Actress Katy Mixon as Westport housewife Katie Otto in the “Boar-Dain” episode of “American Housewife.” The prime-time sitcom has upset many in Norwalk with the disparaging jokes aimed at the city. Actress Katy Mixon as Westport housewife Katie Otto in the “Boar-Dain” episode of “American Housewife.” The prime-time sitcom has upset many in Norwalk with the disparaging jokes aimed at the city. Photo: Michael Ansell / ABC Via Getty Images Norwalk calls on TV network to end prime-time insults 1 / 5 Back to Gallery

NORWALK — After months on the receiving end of degrading remarks on prime-time television, Norwalkers are taking a stand.

In response to cracks about Norwalk and its school system on the ABC show “American Housewife,” school district administrators, city officials and civilians are taking their complaints up with the network, hoping to put a stop to what they call bullying.

“The insults about Norwalk children on a national network TV show are not funny,” Superintendent Steven Adamowski wrote in a letter ABC Entertainment Group President Channing Dungey. The letter was also sent to ABC comedy programming executives, as well as the creator and executive producers of the show.

“Rather, they are pejorative, demeaning and divisive. Ms. Dungey, are you aware that you are promoting a bias? In Norwalk, we teach our children from a young age that bullying in any form is not acceptable. Yet our high school students in particular now find themselves the target of stereotypes and prejudices, on a TV network owned by Disney.”

The network did not respond to a request for comment from Hearst Connecticut Media.

While the jokes a Norwalk’s expense have been ongoing, a recent Halloween episode seemed to particularly stir up anger among residents.

The daughter of the main character dressed up as a “Norwalk Prom Girl” for Halloween, wearing her prom dress over a balloon to imply a late-term pregnancy. All her friends were going as the same thing, she tells her TV mom.

The joke was the final straw for lifelong Norwalker Andy Ross, 60, who at first enjoyed the show when the first season aired last year.

“It’s certainly not good for the morale of the high school students who are at a very tender and challenging age to begin with,” Ross said. “I think it’s not good for our overall image, our businesses, our tourism. Why not use the name of a fictitious town? Who’s really getting a laugh out of this? For somebody who is watching this show in California, it doesn’t matter if it’s real or fictitious, they don’t know the difference. But it matters to us, the residents of Norwalk and Fairfield County. It’s just plain old not right.”

Ross created a website called stoptheinsults.com, and started a petition calling on the network to leave Norwalk out of its jokes. The petition has garnered more than 200 signatures thus far, and Ross plans to present the petition as well as responses from the city to the network after Thanksgiving.

Ross, responding to comments that he “lighten up” because they’re “just jokes,” said he understands not everyone is offended by the content of the show.

“They’re not getting the whole picture,” Ross said. “Yeah they’re jokes and comedy is comedy, but comedy shouldn’t be at the expense of someone else, especially at this tender age.”

Ross said he doesn’t believe the jokes, made by fictitious Westporters, portrays Norwalk’s neighbors fairly either.

“I think Westport and its residents are being put into a bad light as well,” Ross said. “I’ve heard from people in Westport as well, who said this is not them.”

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe praised Norwalk as a “terrific community,” and added that the show portrays Westport in a negative light, as well.

“I think many Westporters also feel bad about the way Westport is portrayed in the television show. I believe that we’ve gotten used to the show being on and as a community have moved on in terms of reacting to it,” he said. We think our citizens and residents are proud of their community and understand that would be the same for Norwalk and we feel bad when our community can appear to be misrepresented and I sympathize with the residents of Norwalk who feel in some way their community is misrepresented as well.”

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling said he is outraged at the network, particularly after he tried to address the show with them earlier this year and his letter went without response. He has never watched the show, nor does he plan to, calling on Norwalkers to do the same.

“This is a form of bullying,” Rilling said. “Making fun of Norwalk students, making fun of any students is really inappropriate and it’s painting Norwalk with a broad stroke ugly brush, and nothing could be further from the truth. Our students are excellent students who our graduating class very year is accepted to the best colleges in the United States … I plan on reaching out again, and I plan on continuing to reach out again until they stop. And if everybody in Norwalk, and everybody who is as offended as I am, stops watching the show, their ratings will go down and they’ll cancel it.”

Adamowski asked the network to immediately “cease and desist from targeting Norwalk, directly or indirectly.”

“Parents are disappointed that a network that positions itself as a leader in family friendly entertainment would stoop to insulting children in the name of comedy,” Adamowski wrote. “I’m not sure what the rationale would be for deliberately targeting an entire community instead of creating a fictional one, but I do know it is hurtful and harmful.”

[email protected]; 203-842-2563; @kaitlynkrasselt

ABC has ordered a fourth season of the Katy Mixon-led comedy American Housewife.

Created by Sarah Dunn (Spin City, Bunheads), the series stars and is narrated by Eastbound & Down alum Mixon as Katie Otto, a confident, unapologetic wife and mother of three who raises her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, CT.

Katie’s perfectly imperfect world is upended when her neighbor’s decision to move notches her up from her ideal social standing and sets her on a path to ensure that doesn’t happen, regardless of the consequences.

Diedrich Bader, Meg Donnelly, Daniel DiMaggio, Julia Butters, Carly Hughes and Ali Wong also star in the series created and written by Dunn. She also executive produces alongside Aaron Kaplan, Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz. American Housewife hails from ABC Studios and Kapital Entertainment.

The series recently clocked 4.25 million viewers and a 0.9 rating in the adults 18-49 for its April 30 episode, airing as the kickoff for ABC’s attempt at Tuesday night comedy block.

In January, the single-camera sitcom moved from Wednesday nights to 8 PM Tuesday to make room for The Goldbergs spinoff Schooled. American Housewife aired at 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays during its inaugural season in 2016-17. The show was first ordered to pilot under its original title, The Second Fattest Housewife In Westport.

American Housewife Will Stop Mocking Connecticut City After Complaints From Residents

Leave Norwalk alone!

Producers of ABC’s sitcom American Housewife have agreed to stop making jokes at the expense of Norwalk, Conn. after outraged Norwalkers complained, the New York Daily News reports.

American Housewife is set in wealthy Westport, Conn., and has often made jokes about nearby Norwalk, which is wealthy but not as wealthy. According to American Housewife, people from Norwalk are unintelligent and unhygienic. But the last straw came in the Halloween episode, when a teenage girl dressed up as a pregnant “Norwalk prom girl.”

The disses were catalogued by Norwalk resident Andy Ross on stoptheinsults.com, which petitioned Disney and ABC to apologize for being mean to his town. The petition received more than 500 signatures, and was endorsed by the mayor of Norwalk and the superintendent of Norwalk schools, the latter of whom wrote “The insults about Norwalk children on a national network TV show are not funny,” in a letter to ABC Entertainment Group President Channing Dungey. Even Connecticut State Majority leader Bob Duff, who lives in Norwalk, got in on it, telling the Hartford Courant that “the constant attack on Norwalk” is “insensitive and it reflects our children, especially, in a poor light.”

Meg Donnelly and Katy Mixon, American HousewifePhoto: Michael Ansell, ABC

Faced with this New England rage, ABC flinched, and on Tuesday issued a statement saying American Housewife will stop making fun of Norwalk.

“As a comedy, American Housewife isn’t intended to offend anyone. We’ve heard the concerns of the people of Norwalk and have made the decision to omit any mentions of the city from future episodes,” the network said.

American Housewife is not the only network comedy set in wealthy Fairfield County, however. Fox’s The Mick is set in equally wealthy Greenwich and has a much more biting sense of humor, although the series has not made a habit of poking fun at Norwalk. TV Guide has reached out to Fox to see if The Mick also plans to refrain from making fun of Norwalk in the future, or if they’ll start cracking a lot of jokes about Norwalk to make up the difference. We’ll update if they respond.

American Housewife airs Wednesdays at 9:30/8:30c on ABC.

The life of the housewives in Westport, Connecticut

‏“Oh, no, I don’t cook”. An American woman I know told me when I asked her where to by good, fresh food for making dinner from scratch. I had recently moved here, and asked her what she and her husband did for feeding their family. – We go out or I buy some readymade, was the answer.

After living in Westport for a bit more than half a year I have seen that this is common.

“Yes, it is true. Many American housewives in Westport do not cook. Can you Imagine, they live in these enormous mansions with huge kitchens, sometimes even two”. An American woman shook her head when I discussed the subject with her recently. The woman herself told me she loved to cook, like one of my Australian friends who described how amazed some women are when they see her cook dinner for her two sons and husband many days in a row.

I have to ask: Why is it so strange that a person staying home is making dinner?

(Making dinner this week from scratch. Cutting dill for the Norwegian salmon )

I started to wonder when moving here: what are the housewives in wealthy American communities like Westport of 2018 really doing? I now know the answer, and it is far from what housewives I used to know did when I grew up. There are of course exceptions.

While my grandmother “Randi Marie”, my mother`s mum, was one of the first career women of her generation (born in 1919), my other grandmother “Fridel”, my father`s mum, stayed at home. Friedel was the mother of eight (!!!) siblings, and was a real housewife in the way we used to describe someone staying home. I of course really loved them both, no matter what they chose or had to do for work in their lives.

While my grandfather was employed outside their home, my grandmother’s work was managing her family’s home. She cared for and raised the children and did all the housekeeping, like cleaning and mending clothes, buying goods, storing and cooking food etc. It was really hard work, but she was proud – and of course should be – of what she managed.

(Making bread from scratch. Not easy to do when you do not know the American ingredients)

Today most women in Norway have a payed job outside their home. Some stay home a few years after having kids, but in general Norwegian women are highly educated and have a career on their own. Both because they often need the income, but not at least because they like to do more than just staying home. Norwegian women want to be independent, like earning money themselves, having a career like their husbands and a safe pension when they get older and retire.

But what do I see here in Westport? Women are staying home – many of them – as housewives, or more nicely described here as “stay at home moms” (SAHM). This is common not only among Westport-mums, but among mums in similar wealthy areas in the U.S. where they can afford only one income. They are privileged to have the opportunity to choose, but what does it do to them and their surroundings?

I am a at home staying mum too for a while. I had to quit my job back home to come here with my family. We moved because of an exciting job opportunity for my husband. In a relationship we all have to give and take, and I looked at this as a good opportunity for our whole family too, not only my husband.

Like most of these SAHM I have a good education, but unlike many of them I have worked most of my life except staying home the first year after having each of our children. Many of the women in this area stay home at least from the day the first child is born, and even when their children have gone to college.

So what is a housewife of today in Westport and other wealthy areas?

Like my grandmother with 8 children – the Westport mum manages the house. Unlike my grandmother – she usually does not do the physically hard work herself. She delegates. Like a man I spoke to delivering something on the door the other day told me: “They become good organizers. They arrange stuff.”

Most of the American housewives in this area do not cook, at least not much. If they invite guests, most of what they serve is ready made food. We are lucky, because there are a lot of nice and healthy food in the area to buy, and it even looks “homemade” – everything from great dinners for a big group of people to stuff for coffee mornings for just a few. Many of the cakes are really lovely, and you can even order coffee pots.

(From the “American Housewife”, an American television series ).

On top of not cooking, almost every one of the American housewives in Westport have someone helping them to clean their house at least once a week. Almost no one cleans their car themselves.

So, then there is gardening, you might suggest? No, they have gardeners that fix everything too. This is not common in most parts of Norway. We usually do the gardening ourselves, and we usually like it. At least I did. (Now I have someone helping me/us too.)

What is then left for them to do in the house, in their home, for their family?

Since their husbands often work a lot and are not around all the time – the housewives are alone with the responsibility for their huge homes, kids, dogs and “staff.”

They have to plan when the gardeners, the cleaners, the firm for the sprinkling system, the Air Condition man, the men getting rid of the mice in your house and squirrels and ticks in your garden, the the pool guy, the painter, the electrician etc. should come for a visit.

They housewives look after their kids and dogs, sometimes with the help from a nanny. They drive their kids everywhere, and everything is always at least 20 minutes away.

They are responsible for handling the clothes and they often bye groceries. The women go shopping, and buy themselves, their husbands and the kids clothes (some hire help for this too). Before “prom” some of them go around for days to find the perfect dress for their daughter. If they have a son he needs a nice tuxedo and an expensive gift for their date. If their kid is a “Bar Mitzvah”, they spend a lot of time preparing the big party. I have been told that for some it is very important “making the party better than their neighbors Bar Mitzvah”.

They SAHM handle most of the contact with the schools, sports activities etc. They all expect that you follow up closely, and it takes much more time than we used to spend on this in Norway. From the schools we receive several e-mails weekly. It can be about everything from the weekly schedule, what our children need to improve and what kind of vaccination they are lacking, to questions about helping raising money for the teachers lunch or for schools in the poorer areas of Connecticut.

(Picture from the series “American housewife”.)

The mums also organize the many tutors to come and teach their kids whatever so they get good grades. Getting them in to the best Colleges means everything, and they plan and save money for it from their children are born. They even send their children to summer schools for weeks, and plan for this and other summer camps for month. An American friend of mine even told me that “all kids go to therapist”, so if that is true, that has to be followed up too. Everything takes time, believe me!

During the last 24 hours I have driven for not less than 6 hours only to support the children and their activities. I bought snacks for the Varsity tennis team at school, not only for the girls on the team, but also for the team they were playing against (a tradition that everyone of the parents have to do besides making pasta dinners for the team etc.).

I have been a supporter on the sideline during their every day games, and driven one of our children to the physiotherapist. There, like everywhere else, I had to fill out forms consisting of many pages. Sometimes I even do not understand half of what to write.

The younger one had to be driven to both soccer practice and to a soccer “try out” the last two days (they need to show their skills to get on to the best teams). We were picking up a few friends on the way too.

The oldest son needed to be picked up at school to be driven to the doctor for a vaccination, and the tennis girl wanted to be driven to her tennis club for practice after the practice with her team after school. I had to drive her to school too (25 minutes away), because of difficulty in walking with huge blisters after playing tennis in new shoes.

The school has complained again, but this time it is not the nurse asking me to bring the kids to the doctor for the many vaccinations they require here in the U.S. This time they complain that I am behind schedule in updating the contact information for the three children in Schoology, an online system at the schools for us parents to take part in.

Ahhh, the American society requires more bureaucracy on each level, and a lot more driving…..

In Westport, there is no good public transportation, and we have to drive them everywhere before they get their own driver’s license. I really feel like I am an Uber driver without wanting to become one. I love being a mum, but I dislike spending so many hours a day in the car driving. In Norway they walked, cycled or took the bus. Only occasionally we had to drive them if a soccer- or a tennis match was far from our home.

Sorry that I am complaining a bit. The SAHM like myself, are of course very privileged too. We have more time with our kids and more time to do things for ourselves. Many of us organize lunches and coffees with friends, and we exercise. Yoga, Zumba and core bar are very popular classes.

Many women do their nails and go to the hair dresser several times a month. Some even do not wash their hair themselves, but go to some who specializes in cleaning and blowing rich women’s hair. Can you believe it?

Some, like myself, have joined the PTA (FAU in Norway) at school, and some do charity work. This at least gives you a job and something to do for someone “outside your nearest family”.

Does it matter that many home staying mums do not cook, clean etc.?
Does it matter that they stay home?

In many ways “no”, but there are a few things that worries me:

  • Have the SAHM secured themselves economically if they need to divorce their husbands?
  • Have they thought about their pension when they grow older and retire?
  • How can we teach our girls the importance of an education if the only thing they see is their mum being home, worrying more about her nails and hair than of important things in the society etc.?
  • How do we teach the kids that women are as intelligent and smart as the men if the only one that makes the money in the family is the father?
  • How will the kids manage in “the real world” if they have never learned how to clean, tidy, cook, do the gardening etc.?

Anyway, I know the women here in Westport are very different like everywhere else. Among my friends staying at home, mostly expats from Europe and Australia and a few Americans, they all know how to cook. Even if we sometimes by ready made food, we often cook from scratch too. Luckily many Americans do not, and almost none of us work as hard physically as my grandmother once did.

“If it hadn`t been for the Westport women who do not know how to cook, I would not have earned my money.” A man specializing in selling chicken cutlets told a friend of mine the other day. He, the cleaners, gardeners and the ones doing the job for these wealthy families would not have had an income without these families. So, our laziness keeps at least a lot of others in business, and like the man helping me in cleaning our house every second week says every time I see him: “It is crazy around here, just crazy.”

Is it crazy?

(Picture from the “American Housewife”)

I guess you will think it is crazy if you watch the TV-serie that is called “American Housewife.”
The series chronicles the daily life of Katie Otto, a wife and mother who tries to stand out among the wealthy, pretentious, arrogant housewives and their privileged children after moving to her new hometown of Westport, Connecticut. I find some recognizable, but not everything. In the series there are several rude women, and I have not met them, at least not that I am aware of.

Enjoy your life no matter how you have chosen to live it.

Here is the trailer

9 Things You Didn’t Know About American Housewife

©ABC/courtesy Everett Collection

American Housewife is an ABC sitcom that debuted in October 2016. Created and written by Sarah Dunn, the show tells the hilarious story of an average wife and mother of three who’s life is turned upside down when she realizes she’s the “second fattest housewife.” Leading lady, Katy Mixon, plays the role of Katie Otto, a mother of three and wife who struggles to raise her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Connecticut, full of skinny, yoga-pant-wearing, green-juice-drinking moms. It is currently on its second season, so for those who can’t get enough of the new series, here’s a look at 9 things you probably didn’t know about American Housewife!

9. Characters Based Off Real People

Show creator and executive producer Sarah Dunn said the main characters, Katie Otto and her husband, are based off her own life. In an interview with Variety, she said: “Yeah, definitely. I know — it’s a little scary — but true. And the husband character in the show is really based on my husband. Because he teaches and you know, does all that stuff…When I moved to town, I had little kids, and I gained some weight, and I really wasn’t interested in going on a diet or anything. The moms just looked great. All my friends, they all look wonderful. It started to make me a little angry, how good everyone looked. I kind of channeled that into this character.”



8. Original Title of the Show

When American Housewife was first pitched as a show it was called “The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport.” Despite really loving her original title, Sarah Dunn is really happy they changed it to American Housewife. “One thing I am happy about is when we changed the title, which — I loved my original title. After we shot the pilot, it felt like the show had a broader appeal. That title sort of limited us. But what I do like is we can go back there when we want to and talk about it. I like to talk about it,” said Dunn.


7. The Otto’s Family House

The exterior shots used to show the Otto’s house is actually the “Paramount House” on Colonial Street located on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot. This is the same house used for the Cleaver’s house in Leave It To Beaver and the Welby house in Marcus Welby, M.D.


6. Katie Otto and Katy Mixon Different Perspectives

Katy Mixon plays the character of Katie Otto so well and has been praised greatly by critics for her performance in American Housewife. However, she’s made it pretty clear that she does not share the same insecurities or sentiment for body image as her character on television. “I never let the media dictate my identity, so the fact that I’m a size 14, or a size 2, or a size 8, or a size 4, I kind of rock and roll. It doesn’t matter to me. But, Katie Otto, it’s a very sensitive topic for her to not be one of the Stepford Wives, but she feels so strong in her conviction to be who she is. But she struggles with that. Me? I am who I am. So in that sense, we’re a little bit different,” said Mixon.


5. Tackling Body Image

One of the things that makes American Housewife so unique is the fact that it tackles body image. In fact, it’s one of the major driving forces behind the show. One of the storylines in season one revolves around how Katie Otto is the “second fattest housewife” in her Westport, Connecticut town when her neighbor, “Fat Pam,” moves away. “I really don’t think you need to be 40 and have three kids and have a body of an 18-year-old,” said Sarah Dunn, the show’s creator. Some of the jokes about weight might rub some people the wrong way, but the goal of the show is to step outside the boundaries of what a stereotypical TV mom looks like, and push the boundaries of female characters.


4. Casting Katie’s Husband, Greg

The on-screen relationship between Katie Otto and her husband, Greg, is awesome, but Katy Mixon admits it took a long time to find the right guy for this role. Finally, the producers found Diedrich Bader who had great chemistry with Katy Mixon. “I read with eight different guys, and they couldn’t find him! I tell you it was a divine appointment; he could not be more wonderful,” said Mixon.


3. Close Knit Cast and Crew

The success of a show often depends on the cast which is why American Housewife has been so well-received! Sarah Donnelly said off-screen the cast is like one big family. “We’re like one huge family, the cast and the crew. We all know each other and we’re very tight,” she said.


2. Behind the Scenes

Donelly also shared a few secrets about what goes on in-between takes. “Honestly, there aren’t many secrets. Daniel DiMaggio (who plays my brother Oliver on the show) and I enjoy playing pranks and making each other laugh. There have been days when we struggle to stop laughing when the cameras roll. It’s the best feeling. Also, Katy Mixon (who plays my mom Katie), Julie Butters (who plays my sister Anna-Kat) and I are always singing between takes. Always,” said Donnelly.


1. How the Story was Developed

In an interview with Executive producer, Aaron Kaplan, he said the idea of the show came about during a conversation with Sarah Dunn. “We started talking about her life, and Sarah says, ‘Well, you know, I’m the second fattest housewife in Garrison.’ And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?’” As they continued to talk he became more and more interested in her story. The two of them developed the idea of creating a sitcom loosely based on her life. “Having met Sarah’s family, I can say it’s loosely based on Sarah’s family,” said Kaplan.

The Ottos are the American Family this time around. Besides Katie (Katy Mixon), wife of one and mother of three, there’s Greg (Diedrich Bader), her husband. Their kids are Taylor (Meg Donnelly), a teenager who has just emerged from an awkward phase to become pretty and popular; Oliver (Daniel DiMaggio), 12, an Alex P. Keaton in the making; and Anna-Kat (Julia Butters), the youngest—who we learn, per Katie’s narration, “has a touch of the anxieties. Not Rain Man anxiety, but it’s not in the family newsletter.”

The show’s sympathies, though—as its title might also suggest—lie with Katie. It’s Katie who narrates the action. It’s Katie who admits, of Oliver, “I’m not gonna lie to you: We boned it pretty bad with this one.” And it’s Katie who, through her outspokenness, promises some much-needed RealTalk™ when it comes to that most still-taboo of subjects in American culture: weight. Weight, in particular, that has the added audacity of being carried by a woman.

American Housewife makes good on that promise (Fat Pam!), but it does so to a fault: The show’s pilot, it soon becomes wincingly clear, revolves entirely around the problem Katie lays out in her introduction. Over the next 30 minutes, this particular American housewife will obsessively attempt to fill the house that had been occupied by Fat Pam with … someone even fatter. Or, at the very least, someone equally fat. So that Katie can maintain her status as Third Fattest in town, without being relegated to Second.

Had that been a passing joke, it might have been funny—a wry recognition of the way women are taught that their aesthetic value is both cruelly fixed and geographically relative. “Fat Pam,” however, is not a passing joke. Katie’s quest to replace her permeates the episode’s extremely petty Hero’s Journey. “Oh, Fat Pam, why are you abandoning me?” Katie wails, approximately two minutes after we’ve first met her. She repeats the stakes of all this: “Once Fat Pam is gone, I am going to be the second fattest housewife in Westport! Damn you, Fat Pam!”

It’s not, however, just Pam: Nearly everything else that occupies the gleaming suburban universe American Housewife has built for itself revolves, somehow, around weight, and not just Katie’s. The Ottos live in the tony New York suburb of Westport, Connecticut—and Westport, Katie explains, is not just a town, but “the kind of town where people have big houses and tiny butts.” Taylor, Katie’s daughter, isn’t just blossoming physically; she’s also, Katie confides, in danger of becoming a teenage version of the “Westport mommies” that Katie resents so much (on account of their “flat stomachs, tight, high asses,” and “thighs that don’t touch”—and also of the fact that they seem always to be sipping “those stupid green drinks”). Katie talks about her weight with Greg (think that conversation will involve her uttering the line “This is the part where you say I’m not fat”? Then you are correct). Katie talks about her weight with her two best friends (Carly Hughes and Ali Wong, shining even in small roles), as the trio enjoys “second breakfast.”

Although the ratings slipped some last year, the American Housewife TV show remained a top-10 scripted series for ABC. Can it maintain its audience, or even build it back up in the third season? Will a new time slot help or hurt its chances to return next year? Will American Housewife be cancelled or renewed for season four? Stay tuned. *Status update below.

An ABC single-camera family comedy, American Housewife stars Katy Mixon, Diedrich Bader, Meg Donnelly, Daniel DiMaggio, Julia Butters, Carly Hughes, and Ali Wong. The sitcom centers on Katie Otto (Mixon). As an average wife and mother, she prefers to stand apart from Westport CT’s “perfect” parents and their entitled children. Katie’s logic-driven husband, Greg (Bader), supports her efforts as best he can. Together, they try to make sure that their kids, Taylor (Donnelly), Oliver (DiMaggio), and Anna-Kat (Butters) internalize the family’s values, so they don’t end up carbon copies of their neighbors.

The ratings are typically the best indication of a show’s likelihood of staying on the air. The higher the ratings (particularly in the 18-49 demo), the better the chances for survival. This chart will be updated as new ratings data becomes available — typically around 11:30am EST/8:30am PST. Refresh to see the latest.

5/22 update: You can see the latest night’s ratings in context.

Note: If you’re not seeing the updated chart, please try reloading the page or view it here.

For comparisons: The second season of American Housewife on ABC averaged a 1.22 rating in the 18-49 year old demographic and 4.58 million viewers.

Note: These are the Live + Same Day Ratings which include “live” viewing plus delayed DVR viewing, up until 3am local time that same night. Ratings marked with an “*” are the fast affiliate ratings and will be updated with the Live+SD numbers when they are made available. Typically, networks get paid for C+3 ratings which includes DVR viewing within three days of the original airing when commercials are watched. Those numbers are rarely released to the press.

How are your shows doing in the ratings? Check the current rankings:
A&E | ABC | AMC | Bravo | CBS | CMT | The CW | FOX | Freeform | FX | FXX
Hallmark | HBO | History | MTV | NBC | OWN | Showtime | Starz | Syfy | TBS
TNT | TV Land | USA Network | WGN America

What do you think? Do you like the American Housewife TV series? Should it be cancelled or renewed for a fourth season on ABC?

*5/10/19 update: ABC has renewed American Housewife for a fourth season.

I don’t know about you, but like many people, I have wondered what it is really like to be famous. How magical it must be, I’ve imagined, to be pampered, with a huge wardrobe to choose from, personal hair and makeup artists making you look perfect every day, and gorgeous humans to interact with … and then having millions of people tune in to see you every week.

Well, Good Housekeeping’s leading lady, Editor in Chief Jane Francisco, actually got the chance to see! She was invited to join the cast of ABC’s hit comedy American Housewife for a day, with a special cameo on an episode of the show’s second season (airing October 4 at 9:30 p.m. ET on ABC). Katy Mixon, who plays housewife Katie Otto, showed her the ins and outs of what actually goes into filming a show.

I sat down with Jane to discuss some of the most interesting (and surprising) things she experienced as a TV star for a day. Are stars really just like us, or is all the glitz and glamour of my dreams a reality?

1. Not everything is as it seems.

American Housewife is set in a fictional version of Westport, Connecticut — meant to mirror the show creator’s hometown. “When you’re watching the show, and the characters are walking around town or hanging out in their living room, what you don’t realize is that all of those places are actually inside these really big, industrial buildings — and each room and area of the set is all split up. The café is built right next to Katie Otto’s house, which is segmented rooms where the ceiling is a series of lights and cameras,” says Jane. The stairs lead nowhere — it’s all a big illusion created specifically to allow scenes to be shot easily. Jane reveals, “The front of their house is actually down the street from the building where the inside of their house lives.”

What’s even more bizarre is that inside their “home” are offices for the crew. Jane explains, “We went onto the Otto’s lawn to take a photo. I opened the front door just to see what it looked like inside, and it was someone’s office! They just use the façade of the building for filming.”

2. Stars are not their characters.

“The first person I met while getting my hair and makeup done was Carly Craig, who plays Katie’s nemesis Tara. Carly was very friendly and welcoming. You think you know them by their character, and then you’re surprised when they turn out to be the exact opposite,” says Jane.

Jane (center) getting her final hair and makeup touches on set before her big scene, while Katy Mixon get some last minute cues from the director. Top photo: Jane with show creator Sarah Dunn and lead actress Katy Mixon. Lindsey Benoit

3. One minute lasts an eternity.

“It’s amazing how long it takes to film a half-hour show,” Jane says. “Once it’s done, the whole scene I was in will be about three minutes, but it took over two hours to film. The process is slow, so there’s a lot of waiting around. They have to shoot everything from all different angles for each of the different characters and lines. I didn’t think I’d need to be on set the entire time, but sometimes you’re in the background without realizing it.” And it’s even harder for the main characters, Jane adds, as “they have to say their lines 10 different times because there’s the close-up shot from one angle, there’s a faraway shot from the same angle, and then there’s a shot from over their shoulder to get the reaction of the person they’re talking to while they’re saying those lines — so many details!”

4. That’s a job?

Making a TV show is, as you’d imagine, a complex process — from the actors and production to set-building and catering — “it is amazing how many people it takes and all the little details you wouldn’t think of,” says Jane. Ever seen a movie or show where you notice a minor inconsistency — i.e. a person’s drink is half full and a second later it’s totally full. “There’s actually a person whose job is to make sure that Katy’s hair is in the same position it was the last time they shot the same line, or that the piece of pizza in front of her has just one bite taken out of it in that particular scene every time it’s shot. There was even one guy whose job was to take a paintbrush and dust small areas of the set!”

5. Arrive hungry

Beware if you’re trying to watch what you eat! “There is food out all day, all the time. Breakfast was an amazing spread of eggs, bacon, and a fancy French toast special,” Jane says. “And the snack, which we mistook for lunch, was delicious tacos and burritos—an hour later they served the real lunch.” It seemed as if food was a common topic of conversation around the set. “People got excited about what was up next. Taco day is a pretty big deal, apparently,” says Jane.

It appears to me that the food alone is a reason to put up with the long days. I’m ready for my close-up now!

Watch American Housewife Wednesdays on ABC at 9:30 p.m. ET. And stay tuned for Katy Mixon’s upcoming GH cover and feature, coming in 2018 — she’ll have you smiling and laughing on every page!

Go behind-the-scenes with Jane while filming the show:


“Bigger Kids, Bigger Problems” – When Anna-Kat’s school lunch lady (Kathy Kinney) refuses to make simple eco-friendly changes in the school cafeteria, Greg enlists the help of his friend and fellow environmentalist Bill Doty (Ryan Stiles). In an attempt to win over the lunch lady, they put on a show at the school highlighting the importance of recycling; but when those efforts fail, Greg is forced to call in reinforcements: “Mr. Green” (Drew Carey)! Meanwhile, Katie discovers that Taylor went behind her back to obtain a prescription for birth control; things quickly go from bad to worse when Katie learns that Angela is the one who took her to get the prescription, on an all-new “American Housewife,” FRIDAY, OCT. 11 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on ABC. Episodes can also be viewed the next day on ABC.com, the ABC app and Hulu.

“American Housewife” stars Katy Mixon as Katie Otto, Diedrich Bader as Greg Otto, Meg Donnelly as Taylor Otto, Daniel DiMaggio as Oliver Otto, Julia Butters as Anna-Kat Otto, Carly Hughes as Angela and Ali Wong as Doris. Guest stars include Drew Carey as Mr. Green, Ryan Stiles as Bill Doty and Kathy Kinney as lunch lady.

“Bigger Kids, Bigger Problems” was written by Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer, and directed by Paul Murphy.

“American Housewife” is written by Sarah Dunn (“Spin City,” “Bunheads”) and produced by Kapital Entertainment and ABC Studios. Sarah Dunn, Aaron Kaplan, Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz are executive producers. ABC Studios is a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.

A TV parental guideline will be assigned to this episode at a later date.

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‘American Housewife’ star Daniel DiMaggio’s plan is sorted as long as the ABC show keeps going

14-year-old Daniel DiMaggio went from starring in commercials at the age of eight to being the face of Young Superman in 2012, to now being a series regular on ABC’s hit show ‘American Housewife.’ The California native chatted with Meaww on how he ventured into acting at a tender age and how he keeps at it with regular relaxation intervals on set, playing ping-pong with the cast and crew members.

The teen, who plays Oliver Otto, identifies himself with the character only to the extent of being ambitious and competitive. “Five years from now is a long time but hopefully, it’ll involve still working and going to college,” he shared.

Daniel DiMaggio (Photo Credit: Tashi Palmer)

Giving us an insight into what’s to come in season 3 of the ‘American Housewife,’ DiMaggio shared, now that Katie Otto “has a job as a party planner she has to fit in with them even more. It leads to some funny situations as you see what kinds of things the local Westport people want for their parties. So, you’ll see her making adjustments between what she has to do for her job and how she deals with these personalities.”

As for Oliver Otto, he will be growing and changing in the long haul, assured DiMaggio. On a personal note, however, DiMaggio plans for 2019 to include, hopefully, travel and landing a film role after ‘American Housewife’ wraps up in March. Hopefully, the show will return for a fourth season because playing the role of Oliver Otto is definitely DiMaggio’s favorite; “as long as the show is going – my main plan is made,” he said.

Oliver Otto is a charming character, who is smart beyond his years. With straight A’s in your report card as well, we would like to know to what degree do you identify yourself with the character you play?

We have some important things in common but we are very different types of people. I’m more casual, into sports and not materialistic like Oliver. On the other hand, I am ambitious and want to compete. So, we are the same in that way.

You ventured into acting at the tender age of 8 mainly with commercials. What drew you to this career path and how do you plan on pursuing it further?

My parents are actors and writers and they just brought me along with them when they went on auditions. One time they were at their agency for a husband/wife voice over read and I was with them. The kid agent just happened to walk out while we were all waiting and asked my parents if he could “read” me. Five minutes later I had an agent. A few weeks later I booked my first commercial. That led to various TV guest spots, a pilot and finally ‘American Housewife.’ The show is a great experience and I also hope to do films. I’ve done a few movies but I want to do more.

So, I read that you enjoy playing matches of ping-pong on set with the cast and crew of ‘American Housewife.’ Could you give us a glimpse into how often that happens and who is your major contender?

When we have time between scenes we play. My main competition is the crew guys. There is some intense competition there. The other actors aren’t really into it much. It’s a great way to unwind on set.

It’s been fun watching Katie Otto navigate her life, fitting in with wealthy people. What can we expect from season 3?

Now that she has a job as a party planner, she has to fit in with them even more. It leads to some funny situations as you see what kinds of things the local Westport people want for their parties. So, you’ll see her making adjustments between what she has to do for her job and how she deals with these personalities.

How challenging was it to learn ballet for the decision Oliver Otto took to get into Harvard?

At first, I didn’t really know much about it so I just went with it. The lessons are usually about twice a week and I find it to be a really good workout. I learn things that I can use in the show, but to be a full-on ballet dancer, you have to really do it all the time and devote yourself to it. Since I already have a full-time job, I do the best I can to make Oliver look like a ballet dancer. My main experience with sports before the show was with baseball and ballet is a much more demanding workout.

You played the young Superman in the series ‘Supergirl’ and it’s almost everyone’s dream to play a superhero. Was that on your bucket list? How did you feel playing that role? Please walk us through your audition process.

Yes, it’s very cool to be in the small club that has played Superman or in my case “young Kal-El.” Superheroes are huge and who knows maybe I’ll get a chance to play another one someday. Spiderman would be fun. In this case, they were looking for a kid who they thought might look like Superman as a kid. At the time I guess I had the right look. The fun part was being custom fitted for that costume and having the curl put into my hair. Once all that was in place it was fun. The cast was really great and I had a lot of fun.

Could you share with us your future plans and where do you see yourself in the next five years?

‘American Housewife’ is going great so I hope to be there for a while. It’ll be fun to see how Oliver grows and changes. Along the way, I hope I can fit in some work in movies. Five years from now is a long time, but hopefully, it’ll involve still working and going to college.

You have ample credits under your name including guest-starring on ‘Burn Notice’, ‘Haunted Hathaways’ and voicing on the animated series ‘Clarence.’ What has been your favorite role so far and why?

All of those roles were fun and gave me a chance to play different things, but I’d have to say Oliver Otto is my favorite because I get a chance to do a lot of things. It gives me a platform to grow. Also, it’s fun to be sarcastic and get really funny lines to say. Our writers are great.

Daniel DiMaggio (Picture by Tashi Palmer)

What other roles and genres would you like to explore next?

I really want to stretch out dramatically. I love comedy and I’m lucky to be in such a funny show, but just for a change, it would be interesting to play something serious or some kind of thriller. The great thing is I’ve had a chance to do some dramatic stuff on ‘American Housewife’ so that’s great.

How do you juggle your work and school? What keeps you driven in both fields?

When I’m not working, I go to school and while I’m working on set I have to do (my studies) at least three hours a day. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes if I have a busy day, I have to move it to the next day but I always get it done. I have a great teacher and he keeps me focused. I’m driven in both because I want to be successful in both.

What are your plans for 2019?

I would love to land a film role when the show wraps in March. Maybe travel a little. And, then we’ll find out if the show comes back for season 4. As long as the show is going – my main plan is made.

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