My Big Fat Irish-American Family

Firecracker Films' "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" is a major hit in the UK and on The Learning Channel in the US.

The international production company that’s behind TLC’s hit series “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” and the documentary “Mermaid Girl” is casting in Philadelphia and several other cities for a series pilot about a “strong” Irish-American family or business.

“We’re looking for fun, loveable families, the kind you want to tune in with, kick back and go along for the ride,” explains Alice Sharp, director of Development for Firecracker Films, a Santa Monica, CA-based company that specializes in the kinds of can’t-look-away documentaries you see on TLC, A&E, National Geographic, Animal Planet and the Oprah Network (where some of its work has appeared).

While Sharp couldn’t elaborate on the type of documentary they want to film in Philadelphia, she was clear about one thing. “It will be nothing Jersey Shore-esque,” she told us this week. They’re not looking for the Irish equivalent of Snooki and The Situation. Nor will the “stars” be whisked away to another location to interact. They want a real family. “It will be more of an insight into Irish-American culture,” Sharp explains.

Along with “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding,” which looks at the shrouded world of Irish gypsy weddings in England (a US version is in the works) and “Mermaid Girl,” about a child born with a condition in which her legs are fused, Firecracker Films has produced what they aptly call “irresistible content.”

That includes “Three Weddings and an Execution,” about women drawn to men behind bars; “The Autistic Me,” which looks at the lives of three young men with autism; “The Man Whose Arms Exploded,” which focuses on the world of extreme bodybuilding; and “Alone Among Grizzlies,” an Animal Planet special on the work of Swiss biologist David Bitner who studies the bears at close range in Alaska.

If you have a fun, loving, loveable multi-generational family filled with “characters,” and don’t mind letting it all hang out for the camera, Sharp wants to talk to you. You can reach her at

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