Watch out, Kardashians! There's a new reality TV family around, and they're ready to take over the spotlight. Self-dubbed the "Black Brady Bunch," the Tankards have all the necessary features to join the ranks of Bravolebrities: wealth, drama, conflicting personalities, big egos, shouting and, of course, lots of family love. With their new series Thicker Than Water: The Tankards (premiering Sunday, Nov. 10 at 9/8c, Bravo), this larger than life family upholds Southern charm and strong religious ties, while being mindful of their family motto, "God wants us all to be millionaires."
Led by man-of-the-house Ben Tankard, a gospel artist and former pro-basketball player, and his wife, Jewel, this blended family (including five children and one grandchild) all reside under one roof. Sounds like a recipe for disaster — or reality gold. TV Guide Magazine caught up with Ben, Jewel, Brooklyn, Britney, Benji and Cyrene Tankard.
Age: 49Occupation: Recording artist; producer; motivational speakerBen, in his own words: "I've been poor. Now I'm rich. Believe me, rich is better."
Occupation: Financial advisor; author; network marketer
Jewel, in her own words: "This black Barbie flies private or she stays home."
Occupation: Owner of hair extensions product line; entrepreneur
Brooklyn, in her own words: "Things haven't always been easy for me. I've been in trouble with the law and my family, but I'm a survivor, baby!"
Age: 23 (the only Tankard child who does not live at home full-time)
Occupation: Solutions analyst for a communication company; jewelry designer
Britney, in her own words: "I'm the rebel of the Tankards. It's kind of like we're a puzzle, but I don't fit."
Benjamin (Benji) Tankard
Occupation: DJ; public speaker
Benji, in his own words: "I don't want to be like my dad. I want to be better than my dad."
Occupation: High school student
Cyrene, in her own words: "Being the youngest in my family has its perks. I know just what to say, just what to do to basically get what I want. It's pretty easy."
TV Guide Magazine: Why do you dub your family as the "Black Brady Bunch"?
Ben Tankard: We are a blended family with children from before we got married, and we've blended them successfully. We have my five children, two daughter-in-laws and one grandchild.
TV Guide Magazine: What are the best — and worst — parts of having your kids live at home?
Ben: The best part is I get to help them develop their businesses and relationships.
Jewel Tankard: The worst part is we don't always agree on housekeeping styles.
TV Guide Magazine: How do you draw the line between intruding on your children's lives and letting them be independent?
Ben: There is no fine line. As long as you live in my house, eating my food, you're going to do what I say. When you get really grown, get gone. My golden rule is, "He who puts up the gold, makes the rules."
TV Guide Magazine: What is the best part about being wealthy?
Ben: When you see someone that needs help, you can do more than pray for them, you can pay for them. That is why we love to be able to volunteer as pastors — we don't take a salary.
Jewel: It gives you the ability to help people and change their lives, even with your own children!