EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 27, 2008

Having problem children could pay off; 'Supernanny' holds open casting call for Granite State families

By James A. Kimble , Staff writer

BEDFORD - Five-year-old Mia Trainor controls her house. She often tells her parents what to do and how to it.

"When she started doing it, we all thought it was cute and just let it go," said her mother, Christina Trainor of Derry. "Now she has such a sense of entitlement."

With any luck, Supernanny may come to the rescue.

About 50 New Hampshire families brought their sometimes-crabby, bossy or unruly children to T-Bones Restaurant in Bedford yesterday for auditions of "Supernanny." This year marks the fourth season for the ABC reality show, starring veteran British nanny Jo Frost as every problem child's nightmare. The show airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. The next new episode is scheduled for Feb. 6.

Christina Trainor said that if her family is lucky enough to be featured, she hopes the Supernanny also can quell the ongoing fights between her children, Mia, Trevor, 11, and Emma, 10.

Trainor, who works as a visiting nurse for Elliot Hospital in Manchester, said the discipline often falls to her husband, Shawn, who runs a fire protection business, while she often lets the children, "walk all over me."

As a fan of the show, the mother of three often picks up tips. But Trainor doesn't always follow through with them.

"It would be a world of difference if you had the person there," she said.

Trainor may find out how good her chances are in the coming days. Producers told her they're interested in speaking to her husband.

However, the Trainors aren't the only locals vying for a spot on the television show.

Jenni Maynard of Plaistow came to the audition with her two children, Jacob, 6, and Justin, 2. Her husband, Michael, works as a Plaistow firefighter. Susan Comeau of Windham also came out with her two children, Julia, 7 and James, 5.

Casting producer John Magennis said he feels confident that at least one New Hampshire family will make the final cut.

"I'm happy to say this is probably one our most successful casting calls," he said. "We had a great turnout."

Bedford was one of five cities where casting calls were held to pick families for the end of this year's season.

The ongoing writers strike has given longer life to reality shows like "Supernanny." The network has ordered 22 episodes, its longest season so far, for the year.

Magennis said producers are looking for new situations that haven't been featured before. That includes ones involving older children in their teens and ones heading off to college. Several families interviewed by Magennis will get a second "call back" and he may even visit them at their homes in the coming days. A production crew typically spends two weeks with a family that will appear in a single episode.