Gypsy TV: Gypsies are new trending topic for TV shows at TCA

For the first time cameras are taking viewers into the complex world of the American gypsy culture via two new series —National Geographic Channel’s American Gypsies (debuting later this summer) and TLC’s My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding (this spring).

Ralph Macchio (Karate Kid) is the executive producer behind American Gypsies, a compelling look at one of Manhattan’s most prominent Gypsy families — the Johns family. Despite the title of their show, the family prefers to be referred to as Roma vs. Gypsies.

“It was difficult to get people to open up on camera because the Roma have been taken advantage of and discriminated against by the gydje (non-Gypsies) for centuries,” said Bobby Johns. However, the 10-part series follows the Johns as they try to preserve their age-old customs while upholding their family’s power in the community and expanding their psychic shops. Viewers will witness the inner workings of the family from secret elder assemblies, arranged marriages at age 18, vicious family feuds (which include dead crows on doorsteps), tarot card readings, an attempt by an exiled Gypsy to be reinstated and more.

In My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, TLC takes viewers on a journey into the lives of America’s Gypsy and Traveller communities revealing the hidden culture and over-the-top weddings that occur. TLC press materials note that there are an estimated “one million Gypsies and Travellers throughout the U.S., but most live in complete secrecy, away from the judgment and discrimination that plague their communities.” TLC will go inside their homes and attend their parties to share what it’s like to be living as a Gypsy in America. The series will feature families from West Virginia, Georgia and Maryland, specifically:
• 23-year-old Bill, who is preparing to marry 18-year-old Tamara, who is a non-Gypsy and struggles to become accepted by the local community.
• Nettie and JR married in secret when they were teenagers, and now want to celebrate with their families in a wedding renewal — thrown the traditional, extravagant way.
• At 14, it’s time for Priscilla to start looking for a future husband. Her father plans a big party to bring together the available Gypsy men to see if she can find her true love.
• Chris and Amanda are planning lavish baptism celebrations for four of their children. They must all look their best, and they commission a Swarvoski crystal-crusted pacifier.



  1. If we are going to expose our life on TV as a gypsy then you should fight for your rights in America. African Americans have more rights in privilege in America

    • Anyone who comes into this country legally has the same rights that anyone else has. As for exposing your lives, the families on TV chose to be on their respective shows and are making good money doing that. No one forced them to sign on the dotted line.

  2. these shows just promote ignorance and racist stereotypes. they promote negativity for ratings and give the gadjos false information. these “gypsies” on the television have sold their souls to the gadjo.

    • Well, racist stereotypes go both ways. In every show, the family makes some kind of remark about the gadje, and those remarks are not complimentary. These reality shows are mostly staged, anyway. It’s entertainment. It’ll last for just so long, then something else will take its’ place. Meanwhile, the people in these shows make very good money per week—a lot more than the average working person makes in a week, that’s for sure, so why shouldn’t they enjoy it while it lasts? No harm done.

  3. I have enjoyed watching and learning about your culture. It is very fastinating. I had only heard terrible things about gypsy’s (Roma). It has been very interesting learning some of the traditions and beliefs. We also watched the UK version. I was upset to learn about the prejudice you receive due to the fact of your historical cultural beliefs . I hope by watching these programs, others can grow and learn. Setting aside their preconceived ideas long enough to learn the good qualities you people have to offer. I like to keep an open mind in order to learn and ask my children to do the same. While learning about you, we learned a hard working loving family. You family has strong loving bonds. You women are great mothers and your men are strong supporters. I hope your families live long prosperous lives. The best to all of you

  4. i can’t wait to see it, i think it’s a good ida way to go guys, good luck n god bless

  5. Leave it to the Ludari & Romanichal to sell us all out in America! Apparently your Baba didn’t raise you up right. Tyíro bezhax te avel! Te del o Del, džućhela te ćeren o abjav katar će kokala!! Na Wuzho. Si Mahrime! You should all be blackballed!!

    • Whoooo! Wow, why so angry? It’s just a TV show. How did they “sell you all out in America?” How does this TV show affect your life negatively? So far, I haven’t seen anything bad happen. It’s interesting to learn about your culture and beliefs. I’ve been reading about the Roma for awhile now, on the internet, so it’s interesting to see some of the things I’ve read come to life on the TV screen.


    • I see that on the show all the time. I would imagine that if other Roma families would have the opportunity to make the money that the Johns family are making from this show, they wouldn’t turn it down, either.

  7. Looks like you all are quite passionate about the culture and the program. Thanks for sharing and educating each other on your experiences. We have and will continue to delete any comments with excessive profanities and/or threatening comments, so please keep that in mind when commenting. Thanks!

  8. Well I thought there were only gypsies in Ireland I used to play with them when I was a Young lad my parents always told to stay away from them they were my friends and did nothing wrong to me the staff so much fun and one day they were gone they were always leaving and returning this time they didn’t return I always wondered what happen

  9. These people have families and children of their own just like you and me I’m sure you wouldn’t like it remember when you point your finger there’s three more pointed right back at you and Karma is a bitch! God says don’t judge lest you be judged and he who is without sin cast the first stone and you cast stones like as if you were sinless ha

  10. And if they do anything wrong you will have the rest of the community behind you at that time and wouldn’t you just feel like shit if you’re wrong and they’re not doing anything bad and you were you know there’s a god out there ?

  11. Oh and don’t waste your breath on negative comments about me because I’m not coming back to the site anymore and I will not see it. Ps. Can’t we all just get along people and congratulate these guys for their accomplishments I’m sure it’s not going to be bad for us and if it is we can do something about it at that time your just putting the carriage in front of the horse right now or something like that lol well I guess what I’m really saying is let’s wait and see before we condemn them that’s the right thing to do

  12. I can’t wait for the series boys congratulations you guys didn’t I know it’s going to be a crack up and I’m going to watch it every week the new entourage LOL don’t pay attention to all those bad things people are saying they’re just jealous guys and I know they do the same thing they were in your shoes so keep it up and to all those people out there that think the boys are doing something bad I know them very well and I know they’re not going to do anything like that these people have chair and will not do anything to lose it so calm down people and enjoy the show I mean it’s cool if you think about it the first time TV series of gypsies

    • My God, The trash that TV has become. Why in the Hell dont you urchins go back to Romania or where ever your from. You fight your own family and cuss in front of your kids. You have some old lady who is a nut thinking there are gremlinds everywhere ,she’s a real nut job. From all I know of you people , you would see your family for a dollar. Cancel this damn show put on real cartoons

      • Gadjo with hatred for all things thy know nothing about make us want to stay in hiding. you would be astounded at how many of us there are. Ray we come from more thin gust Romania. Not all are people are as you described. Some of us have love and grate respect for or family. Some of us are even reverends. like all people and races in this would. some are good and some are bad. Dont Gadjos do bad things two.

        • I read this somewhere: “Hate is like an acid. It destroys that in which it is stored as much as that on which it is poured.” So, Rays’ gonna get an ulcer. And high blood pressure from all that yelling. Not to mention one helluva headache if he doesn’t calm down.

      • Ray, so your family is perfect, huh? Members of your family have never had an argument in front of the kids? Really? You know, Ray, TVs come with remotes and, guess what? You can change the channel with them! Imagine that! So, if you don’t like this show, change the channel. It’s not hard to do. Really……

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. TV's "Roma" empire expands with NGC's "American Gypsies"

Comments are closed.