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TCA Press Tour: Pinching pennies on WeTV's 'Downsized'

August 6, 2010 | 12:41 pm

 Here’s the story of a man named Brady, er, Bruce, who was living way beyond his means.  Well, the whole family was.

In the new WeTV series “Downsized,” the Bruces are a nine-member blended family  trying to pinch pennies — and, apparently, water — to stay afloat in tough economic times. 

“It’s one of my favorite shows we’ve ever done,” said Kim Martin, president and general manager of the network, during the network's presentation at the TV Critics Assn. press tour.

This modern-day Brady Bunch — Todd, who has two children, and Laura, who has five, married a few years after a blind date — were living large. But once the recession hit, that all changed. Both their homes went through foreclosure, and Todd’s contracting business was dwindling.

The show chronicles the lifestyle changes the family has made to live on a poverty-level budget: from giving up the cheerleading team and five-minute showers (there’s a timer!) to canceling cable (to the horror of the children. It was “Shark Week,” after all!), anything to scrimp and save. Laura even opts to clean houses in her spare time.

And we can all thank “Jon & Kate Plus 8” for the series — not for pioneering reality series focused on large families but for being so lame and inspiring 16-year-old Bailey Rumsey, one of Laura’s daughters, to submit her family for consideration in hopes that viewers will find them more entertaining.

“I just think we’re so much cooler,” she said.

“Downsized” will premiere Nov. 6 at 9 p.m.

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: The Bruce Family. Credit: WeTV