I knew it. When Abby Sunderland’s “missing at sea” drama began to unfold last week, I turned to a friend and said, “watch this turn out to be a publicity stunt.”
It had all the markings of a made-for-tv stunt similar to the balloon boy debacle: a pretty blond teenager goes missing after weeks at sea alone. Presumably her sail boat overturned and the nearest rescuer was 400 miles away. She was at risk of being eaten alive by sharks or raped by pirates.
Yet there were her parents eagerly holding press conferences and giving sound bites to any media entity with a camera.
Then the next day we learned that 16-year-old Abby was safe — and by the way, her father Laurent Sunderland signed a reality TV deal months ago. The reality TV show is titled “Adventures in Sunderland.”
The reality show will follow the adventures of the Sunderland family, shipbuilder Laurence Sunderland and mother/teacher Marianne who home schools Abby and her 6 siblings (four of them teenagers).
Then there’s a second reality show n the works, which hasn’t been picked up yet, titled “Abby’s Journey.” There’s a third reality show called “Solo Dreams,” which also hasn’t been picked up yet. “Solo Dreams” follows the story of 16-year-old Abby Sunderland and another teenager who has embarked on a dangerous around the world voyage alone.
Oh, and Marianne, Abby’s mom, who already has 7 children, is pregnant again. Maybe the couple can wrangle a fourth reality show contract for baby Sunderland’s solo sea journey in diapers.
Thanks to loyal reader Angela T. for the tip!