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TLC gets southern-fried with shows about gypsies, a trailer park

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Myrtle Manor

Is this what the Confederacy meant when it said the south will rise again?

The record-breaking successes of A&E’s Duck Dynasty and TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo — both of which trade on regional stereotypes to varying degrees — has paved the way for at least two more reality shows that aim to shed more light on the beasts of the Southern wild: Welcome to Myrtle Manor (early 2013), which chronicles life in a South Carolina trailer park, and Gypsy Sisters (Feb. 10), which takes a deeper look at the American gypsy subculture by exploring the lives of a family based in West Virginia. Both will air on TLC.

 Sisters is a spinoff of TLC’s hit series My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding. On Myrtle Manor, each 60-minute episode will follow the daily drama of the quirky trailer park denizens. “It has the elements of Honey Boo Boo and the kind of culture we love with a little bit of a Melrose Place element,” TLC General Manager Amy Winter tells EW. (The dude in the picture is Jared Stetson, one of the “quirky” residents).

TLC’s decision to program two more shows with a Southern flair comes on the heels of MTV’s move to fill the Jersey Shore slot with Buckwild (Jan. 3), about nine young-adult pals in small-town West Virginia. The unscripted show has already generated lots of positive and negative interest online, including words of disapproval from Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va). who called it a “travesty.” For TLC’s part, however, Winter poohs poohs any notion that TLC’s Southern-accdented programming plays to negative stereotypes. “We always want big fun characters, and some regions rise to the top.”