Local residents on national TV game shows

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Prime Time Players

By Stephen Thomas

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - It’s fun and games time on national television for Bullitt County over the next week.

A local family and an individual will make appearances on two of America’s favorite game shows.

The French Family, based in Shepherdsville, will appear on The Family Feud, starring comedian Steve Harvey, Nov. 15.

Tim Bradshaw, brother of Bullitt County magistrate John Bradshaw, can be seen Nov. 20, on Wheel of Fortune with Pat Sajak and Vanna White.



Let’s play the Feud!

Members of the French Family appearing on Family Feud include patriarch Bert, sons Brian, Sam and Bert, Jr., and daughter Angie. The family tried out during auditions hosted at Ashley Furniture in Louisville last June.

According to Angie, the family participated in interviews and practice rounds prior to their selection.

“Mom was at the tryouts,” Angie said. “The producers selected which ones would appear on the show. I think they liked that Dad was in the military.”

The local producers sent video copies to California, where the executive producers made the decision for the French’s appearance, Angie said.

Family members travelled to Atlanta for a weekend where their episode was filmed.

“They paid for the hotel and the airline tickets,” Angie said. “The entire staff and crew were just wonderful to us. It turned into a weekend vacation, we just had the time of our lives.”

Angie was impressed with the friendliness and hosting abilities of the show’s star, Steve Harvey.

`”He was insightful,” she said. “He spent lots of time with the audience taking questions in between filming. He knew a lot about us and remembered a lot of our background during the show.”

According to Angie, Harvey, seemed to enjoy the French Family just as much.

“The best parts were where we got him laughing,” she said. “A couple of times they even had to stop filming. That was great to get someone like him laughing.”

The family has waited a few months for their show to appear, but legalities do not allow then to reveal what happened.

“You’ll just have to tune in and find out,” Angie said with a laugh. “This is something that was on my bucket list. We just had a great time and we’re just proud of our family.”

The Family Feud episode featuring the French Family is scheduled to air Thursday, Nov. 15, 12:30 p.m. on WDRB.


What is a fluke?

Tim Bradshaw originally wanted to appear of Jeopardy with Alex Trebeck.

“I actually went through the Jeopardy sign-ups online,” he said. “There was a box to check at the end of it asking if you were interested in appearing on Wheel of Fortune, so I checked it. It was just kind of a fluke.”

Bradshaw signed up two years ago. He received an email from Sony Entertainment, owners of both Wheel and Jeopardy, in the spring.

“I honestly thought it might be a spam mail,” he said. “It had a number and I called it, and I received tryout information.”

Bradshaw participated in a two-hour tryout session hosted at the Brown Hotel in Louisville last May. The show’s producers narrowed the 70 potential contestants down to 20.

According to Bradshaw, participants played mock games with show producers and filled out written exams.

“They said the top 20 doesn’t mean that you were picked,” he added. “They said they would send a letter in a few weeks.”

Bradshaw received his letter but still had no idea when he appear on the show.

“They only give you two weeks notice,” he said. “I got a letter in July and had already paid for a vacation in August. They were really accommodating about that.”

Bradshaw received another opportunity in early September. He, his wife, Cindy, and their daughter, Katie, flew to Los Angeles for a Wednesday-Sunday vacation.

Unlike the French Family with Family Feud, the Bradshaws had to pay their own way to California.

“They helped us with hotel rates,” Bradshaw added.

The costs were outweighed by the unique opportunity to visit the area. The family toured Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Venice Beach.

The day of show taping was an all-day process, with five episodes recorded in one day. The family met Vanna White backstage.

“It was really a neat experience,” Bradshaw said. “(Pat Sajak) was cutting up a lot, he was good-natured. Both of them were very personable.”

Once taping began, Bradshaw said the show’s process made it easier to focus.

“I was really concerned about being nervous with all the activity going on,” he said. “It’s surreal, but once it got going you’re on your own little world, you didn’t pay a lot of attention to it.”

Bradshaw was more nervous when it ended.

“I thought, ‘Did I really do that?’, it was just so fast-paced,” he said.

He also noted that the wheel looks bigger on television than in person.

“It’s very heavy,” he said. “You have to reach out and pull it, and then give it a push as well.”

Bradshaw warned that the personal appearance was much different than the viewer’s experience.

“It’s a lot harder with a few hundred people watching in a studio than it is sitting on your couch at home,” he said.

Bradshaw is scheduled to appear on Wheel of Fortune Tuesday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m., on WLKY.