Groundbreaking series offers an intimate look at the lives of young men and women born with Down Syndrome
A&E Network’s Award-Winning Docuseries ‘Born This Way’ returns for a second season with 10 all-new episodes
NEW YORK, NY – June 21, 2016 Produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, the series follows a group of seven young adults born with Down syndrome along with their family and friends in Southern California. In its first season, “Born This Way” grew steadily across all demos, with adults 25-54 up 84%, adults 18-49 up 64% and total viewers up 67%. Recently, the series was chosen as one of six honorees for the 2015 Television Academy Honors, an award that recognizes television programming that inspires, informs and motivates.
“This remarkable and inspiring series exemplifies the quality original programming A&E strives to bring to our viewers,” said Elaine Frontain Bryant, EVP and Head of Programming for A&E Network. “By honoring and embracing diversity on television, ‘Born This Way’ is uniquely redefining the art of honest storytelling and altering the way society views individuals with differences.”
“Born This Way” provides an intimate look at a diverse group of young men and women with Down syndrome as they pursue their passions and lifelong dreams, explore friendships, romantic relationships and work, all while defying society’s expectations. The series also gives voice to the parents, allowing them to talk about the joy their son or daughter brings to their family, and the challenges they face in helping them live as independently as possible.
This season, the young adults and their families continue to live their lives with a fresh and honest perspective as the series dives deeper into their personal independence and relationships, including new friends within their community who will also be featured on the show.
“Born This Way” features:
– Rachel – Rachel is still enjoying her job working for an insurance company but is most looking forward to being the “best person” at her brother’s upcoming wedding. She is open to new experiences, but after an eye-opening visit with the doctor, Rachel is forced to take action and start adopting a healthier lifestyle.
– Sean – Sean takes a big leap towards independence when he and buddy Steven move into their own apartment. Sean claims he’s no longer a ladies man and wants a girlfriend, so after a few blind dates he gives one lucky woman a promise ring, hopefully putting an end to his tendency towards romantic entanglements.
– John – While John continues to pursue his music career, his parents tell him that the clock is running out on how much longer they’ll financially support him. This motivates John to work harder than ever to achieve his dreams before having to look into other career options.
– Steven — Steven is hoping to find a girlfriend in the near future, but struggles with the idea of dating someone else with a disability. He’s hoping that since his new roomie, Sean, has a lot of dating experience, he’ll be able to pick up some helpful tips from his “babe magnet” friend.
– Cristina – Cristina and her fiancée Angel continue to look forward to their wedding, but have a lot of life skills to master before they are ready to live on their own. Their relationship is put to the test when Cristina starts taking ballroom dance lessons and spending time away from Angel.
– Megan -Megan’s line of clothing, “Megology,” exploded with orders and she is working hard, alongside her mom, to keep up with her successful business. Currently living in Colorado, she is determined to move back to Los Angeles alone but her struggle for independence causes conflict with her closest ally; her mom.
– Elena – Elena struggles to find her place in life and within the group. After a fight with her mom that shocks her friends, Elena is forced to take responsibility for her actions and learn alternative ways to express her feelings.
A&E continues to partner with celebrated global non-profit organization Best Buddies International in support of promoting opportunities and increasing awareness for people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
According to the U.S. Census, one-in-five Americans have a disability. Currently 70 percent of working-age people with disabilities are not working – even though most of them want jobs and independence. The numbers are even worse for people with Down syndrome. There are many studies that show that people with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome, can work successfully and live relatively independently.
“Born This Way” is produced by Bunim/Murray Productions (“I Am Cait,” “The Real World”). Executive producers for Bunim/Murray are Jonathan Murray, Gil Goldschein and Laura Korkoian. Kasey Barrett serves as Co-executive producer. Executive producers for A&E Network are Elaine Frontain Bryant, Shelly Tatro and Drew Tappon.
About A&E Network
A&E leads the cultural conversation through high-quality, thought provoking original programming with a unique point of view. Whether it’s the network’s distinctive brand of award-winning disruptive reality, groundbreaking documentary, or premium scripted drama, A&E always makes entertainment an art. The A&E website is located at aetv.com. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/aetv and Facebook at facebook.com/AETV. For more press information and photography please visit us at press.aenetworks.com.
About Bunim/Murray Productions
Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP) is the leading producer of innovative entertainment content. The Emmy Award-winning company is widely credited with creating the reality television genre with its hit series The Real World (31 seasons on MTV). BMP continued to innovate with the first reality game show, Road Rules (MTV), in 1995; the first reality sitcom, The Simple Life (E!), in 2003; and the first reality soap opera, Starting Over, in 2003. BMP’s current programming includes Mariah’s World, I Am Cait, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Rob & Chyna, Total Divas, Total Bellas and Cosmo Life (E!), The Real World and The Challenge (MTV), Project Runway and Project Runway All Stars (Lifetime), Bad Girls Club (Oxygen), Valerie’s Home Cooking (Food Network), Born This Way (A&E), Gary Owen Family (BET) and Earth Live (National Geographic). BMP has also produced films, including They Call Us Monsters, Valentine Road (HBO), Pedro (MTV) and the Emmy Award-winning Autism: The Musical (HBO). BMP has launched additional entities including BMP Films, BMP Digital and BMP Latin. Based in Van Nuys, CA, the company was founded in 1987 by Jonathan Murray and the late Mary-Ellis Bunim, who were inducted into the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame in 2012. The company joined Banijay Group in 2010.