Little People, Big World’s Matt Roloff Talks about the Reality of Reality TV

By Marijo Tinlin August 23, 2011 6 Comments   

When you live your life in front of a camera, your family life takes on a whole new meaning, as evidenced recently through the suicide of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” husband Russell Armstrong, a situation some speculate had to do with his financial and marital problems that were going to be played out in public.

The pressure of life under a microscope can take a seriously toll on a family, but not always. TLC’s hit show “Little People, Big World” is an example of how this can come out as a positive for a family.

When Matt and Amy Roloff told the network their filming schedule was too much after several seasons, the executives worked with them to find something that fits nicely into their lives.

Matt took a break from filming one day to tell Family First that instead of the 300+ days of filming per year, the Roloffs negotiated a new arrangement that allows the family to be filmed just 40 days per year and packaged into a series of 4 one-hour specials, airing this fall.

Matt says this new arrangement, which Matt says is “much more healthy,” still allows their fans to see how things are going on the family farm they run in Portland, Oregon but also allows his family time to live their lives.

Asked what is different about life without the cameras on all the time, he said they are able to do more things as a family such as attend weddings and go to church.

When you have cameras following you around everywhere, you have a lot of paperwork that goes with that, he says. Not everyone wants to have their wedding filmed for television and not everyone going to church wants to sign a release to appear on tv.

The lighter schedule also helps the Roloffs “get close again as a family,” says Matt. He mentioned that sometimes during the heavy filming schedule of the past, he would actually hear some things his wife Amy was feeling for the first time when he viewed the show. “I would see how she felt when I watched an episode,” which Matt says was a little “crazy” for him.

Over the years, viewers have watched the family’s evolution, such as Matt and Amy’s challenges and healing of their marriage and of their four children growing up. This year, one of their older twin sons, Jeremy, leaves for college, which is part of what fans will see in one of the up-coming specials.

Also this year, we’ll get to see Matt celebrate his 50th birthday, coming up in October. During the month of October on the farm, the family opens up the grounds to the public for pumpkin season. Besides 110 acres of pumpkins, the farm has all kinds of other attractions such as a pirate ship, an Old West town, a stagecoach, petting zoo, hay pyramid and much more. Matt likes that even in your family can’t make it to Oregon for pumpkin time, you can enjoy it via their TLC specials.

Matt expressed his thanks for the television show because it has helped their family accomplish some great things – educating the public about Little People as real people, giving their family more financial security and being able to give back through the various charities he and Amy are a part of.

Matt’s charity, Coalition for Dwarf Advocacy (CoDA) helps people with short stature in all kinds of areas such as education, adoption, scholarships and more. Amy’s charity is called Amy Roloff’s Charity Foundation which helps local Portland charities as well as the California-based Dwarf Athletic Association of America (DAAA).

Please check out the new specials airing on TLC and also Matt’s Facebook page, which he says he visits often and posts frequently.

Marijo Tinlin is the editor in chief of Family First, one of the oldest family-oriented websites on the internet. She is also the author of the new book “How to Raise an American Patriot, Making it Okay for Our Kids to Be Proud to Be American” available at

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6 Comments to “Little People, Big World’s Matt Roloff Talks about the Reality of Reality TV”
  1. Boyd says:
    What is the brand of mobility scooter Matt uses? Is there an adult mobility scooter that is even lighter?
  2. Hawke simpson says:
    hi Mr Roloff, i very much enjoy your epxloits and i truely adfmire your never ending excitement over evrything you see in the world, it's like you never grow up, and it takes true courage to see the world as something new and exiciting. thank you so much
  3. louie ysursa says:
    Matt roloff is a bad ass like his spirit
  4. karen giorda says:
    I just wanted to state the fact that i really miss watching the roloffs. i am experiencing a whole lot of challenges due to a car accident and Amy and Matt have really inspired me. i would love to read any books they may have written. I would really love to meet them one day. Although i do not have the resources to make this happen. So if yall read this and are ever in san antonio, texas please contact me. thank you so much for allowing me to come into your lives and help me overcome the challenges in my life
  5. barbara fiume says:
    Hi Matt I saw the episode on jan.23,2012 It was about your son Zach.The show was called Zachs first love.and how much he loves soccer.My son also he was younger loved sports but didnt know what he was going to do neither. What came to mind maybe Zach would be interested in i9sports? it is located in every state.It might be worth a try to go on there website.I love your show!!I have been watching for years.Good luck,Best wishes,God Bless.Sincerely your Barbara
  6. barbara fiume says:
    hi matt i saw the episode on jan 23 2012 it was about your son Zachs. the show was called Zachs frist love. and how much he loves son also when he was younger loved sports but didnt know what he was going to do either.what came to mind maybe zach would be interested in i9sports? it is located in almost every state im not sure but its worth the try to go on there website.good luck best wishes god bless. love your show i been watching for years.barbara

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