On Feb. 18, Hallmark Channel jumps into its first-ever primetime reality series with Meet the Peetes, a sweet docuseries that follows the busy and loving lives of Holly Robinson Peete and her husband, Rodney. The actress and the former NFL star juggle busy schedules as working professionals and advocates while raising four children and sharing their home with Holly’s 81-year-old spitfire of a mother.
When we chatted with Holly, she shared her hope that Meet the Peetes would infuse the oft-contentious reality TV genre with a light of affirmation. “I really felt like it would be a good positive thing for us to do an inspirational and aspirational reality program with humor and heart,” she says. “We have conflict, too, but we resolve it together as a family.”
Thanks to Rodney’s 16-year career as an NFL quarterback, Holly reveals that when it comes to parenting 20-year-old fraternal twins Rodney Jackson (RJ) and Ryan, and younger sons Robinson and Roman, success comes from treating life like a team sport. “We laugh about it and joke that Rodney’s always coming up with these sports analogies: ‘You’re on the 20-yard line, and you’re driving in …’” Holly laughs. “But the reality is — we are a team.”
The family has always faced challenges as a united front. “When life is tough, you team up, and you huddle up, and you get a game plan, and you execute that game plan together,” she says. “We win as a team and lose as a team.” In addition to their devotion to their family, Holly and Rodney are also passionate about their charity, the HollyRod Foundation, which helps families impacted by autism and Parkinson’s disease. Members of Holly’s family have suffered with Parkinson’s, and the Peetes have been outspoken advocates for autism awareness ever since RJ was diagnosed with the disorder in 2000. Holly is also proud that Meet the Peetes will highlight his rich, fulfilled life and celebrate the people whom she has dubbed “angels on the path” — RJ’s team of doctors, mentors and therapists.
“What I don’t want to portray us as is this perfect entity, because we’re certainly not,” says Holly. “We have our blemishes just like every other family. We have our family drama, and our conflict, but I just think the one thing that we constantly have to do is resolve our issues as a team, listening to each other, hearing each other, and making sure that everyone in the family gets a voice.”
“You’re gonna see the many facets of Holly’s crazy life. You’re gonna see I wear a lot of different hats,” she laughs. “And you will see when I get this great Morning Show Murders gig, which I’m so excited about.” When Holly headed to Vancouver — the same city where she shot the sizzling ’80s series 21 Jump Street — to shoot the film for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Meet the Peetes cameras tagged along when the family visited her on set. “I love that Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries have this sort of crossover moment,” she exclaims. And with the entire Peete family in the huddle, Meet the Peetes is a TV touchdown for Hallmark Channel.
Meet the Peetes > Hallmark Channel > Sundays at 10/9c beginning Feb. 18