Family functions as a team on Hallmark’s ‘Meet the Peetes’

‘Meet the Peetes’ – aka Team RJ

Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete star in “Meet the Peetes,” premiering Sunday, Feb.18, on Hallmark Channel.

Actress Holly Robinson Peete and her former NFL quarterback husband Rodney lead active, often hectic lives, raising four kids – one with autism – running a nonprofit, pursuing careers and tending to an 81-year-old mother with an independent streak. And they’ll invite you into their home to see how they cope in their new unscripted series “Meet the Peetes.”

In the first of 10 hourlong episodes on Sunday, Feb. 18, viewers are introduced to the Peete clan: Holly, Rodney and their offspring Ryan, Robinson, Roman and Rodney Jr. – the last a 20-year-old living with autism – and Holly’s 81-year-old mother Dolores, who after years of living in the guest house in the backyard decides to move out to Palm Springs to live life as a very active senior.

There is also the Peetes’ work running their nonprofit foundation HollyRod, which is dedicated to providing support to those living with Parkinson’s and autism, and of course Holly’s busy acting career.

“I think ‘Meet the Peetes’ is a show that’s very aspirational and inspirational,” Holly Robinson Peete explains. “We are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but we’re very resolution-driven. It’s always about being in resolution mode, which doesn’t mean we don’t have typical teenagers and typical things that happen here, but we’ve got to get to the resolution pretty quickly. And we work together as a family.”

That is especially the case with RJ, their 20-year-old twin son who was diagnosed with autism at age 3. Now working for the Los Angeles Dodgers, his situation prompted the Peetes to create HollyRod in 1997 and it is also the driver of much of the storyline of “Meet the Peetes.”

“His journey has pretty much shaped the whole narrative of our life in the last couple of decades, and the kids’,” Holly says. “Everyone’s perspectives on it is really different. And when you have a special needs sibling, a lot of times you’re forgotten, you’re the forgotten sibling because you’re not the squeaky wheel. … But in the end we all rally and we’re Team RJ.”

Another prominent component of “Meet the Peetes” is Dolores, Holly’s very opinionated widowed mom, who decides she’s had enough of living with her daughter and son-in-law and wants her freedom.

“My mom’s lived such a full life,” Holly says, “and you know, we’re living longer now. We’re living into our 90s and 100s, and this whole notion of when someone gets to be 80 put them out to pasture, my mom is here to tell you … ‘Listen, I’ve got a lot more life to live.’ So she’s moving to Palm Springs. She’s open to dating, which is interesting.

“And she’s learning how to play golf,” she continues with a laugh. “That’s where she thinks she’s going to find her husband.”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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