'Balloon Boy' parents were developing a reality show

EW has confirmed that Richard and Mayumi Heene, the parents of 6-year-old Falcon (a.k.a. “Balloon Boy”), were developing a reality show about their family with RDF Media USA, the same company that produces Wife Swap (on which they appeared). The project is no longer active. A rep for TLC confirms that RDF pitched the show to the network months ago and they passed.

Last night, speculation ignited about the balloon incident when Falcon told Wolf Blitzer on Larry King Live “we did this for a show.” On the Today show this morning, Richard Heene denied that it was a hoax.

UPDATE: RDF released this statement on Friday: “At one point in time, we had a show in development with the Heenes. We are no longer in active development with the family. Like everyone else in America, we were stunned and held our breath while the events of yesterday unfolded, and like everyone else, we are extremely thankful that Falcon is safe with his family.”

Comments (37 total) Add your comment
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  • Stunned

    Involved in a reality show, probably the very “show” reffered to by little Falcon on Larry King. Let’s all teach our kids how to make “reality” TV shows…create a hoax, get it televised…instant fame and fortune. These people make me sick!

  • Kww

    They r about to be hit with a tsunami wave of karma. What some will do for fame and money. Reality shows attract the greedy loons of the world.

  • Elizabeth

    Richard and Mayumi Heene = Jon and Kate Gosselin.

    In their worlds kids are expendable if it means fame for the parents. Disgusting.

  • Queixa

    If it is a hoax, they need to pay for the rescue efforts plus a sizable punitive fine. If it’s not a hoax, they need to be investigated for child neglect and possibly child endangerment.

  • Mariangela

    Not surprising, but very sickening. This reality shows need to stop!! We have seen too many garbage and dysfunction come out as a result of such farcical shows. And the worst part is that those inept parents, like John and Kate, make fortunes exploiting their children with the support of the public and the media. Crazy world!!

    • Mariangela

      Sorry for the misspelling. I meant to say “These reality shows…”

  • HMM

    I think it’s still too early to rush to judgement, but from all the little snippets of information I’m seeing about that family, I do think they are quite dysfunctional. That said, I really can’t say the parents are sympathetic figures, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a big hoax and the parents end up being total dbags. Based on the behavior of the kids on that Wife Swap show, it definitely seems like they are far from a disciplined/normal family

  • Philip

    Well…now we know what show Falcon was referring to. Retarded parents.

  • LoveTV

    I knew it! I knew it! Shame on the entire family. They are sick and need help.

  • maskedavenger


  • Snarf

    Once a famewhore….

  • Emmy

    I’m not saying it definitely isn’t a hoax, but apparently, the Sheriff believes they’re telling the truth. I really hope he’s right, for the sake of those kids.

  • Mike

    When you make TV stars out of fame-whoring talentless wannabees, this is what you get. Remember this the next time you watch Celebrity Rehab or Actual Housewives of wherever. You did this!!

  • Aint Pussified

    Sorry people, but you all sound like you are, to quote their video, PUSSIFIED!, this family is the coolest ever. Wish I was one of those kids!

    • Dull

      You’re just an idiot looking for a reaction. Congrats on never growing up Peter Pan.

    • Sean

      You are a moron and in serious need of help.

  • Lisa S

    I’m not one for overprotecting kids, and do believe that they need to experience life and skin their knees on occasion, but these parents are very irresponsible in putting their kids in danger just to promote themselves (which is what they do). The mother also needs to know that she is her children’s parent, not their best friend. When these boys become teenagers, they are going to be terrors (I’ve seen this happen in my own family).

  • Amanda

    I don’t get why everyone is so upset. It sounds to me like the dad may kind of be a tool, but my interpretation is that they were filming to make a reality show about their family. The brother thought he saw Falcon get into the balloon and freaked out, and the family was genuinely panicked. The kid said they “did it for the show”, meaning the launch of the balloon. I don’t understand where everyone gets off calling them “sickening” and the new Jon and Kate. I feel like we’re way too quick to judge people based on the little bits we know about them.

    • Fxston

      “The kid said they ‘did it for the show’, meaning the launch of the balloon.”

      Huh? :) Do you have all the context to what the kid was saying? He was asked by his father (on behalf of Wolf B.) why he didn’t respond when he heard his parents calling for him. His response to his father on camera (and I’m not clear he understood he wasn’t just having a family conversation) was “You guys said, uhm, that we were doing it/this for the show.”

      What do you think the kid was talking about?

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