TV Special Provides Inside Glimpse of the Evancho Family

One of the Pittsburgh area’s most high profile families is the subject of a one-hour TV special.

So what’s it like living in a household where one child is an internationally known singer and another is a transgender activist who made headlines for suing her school district over its bathroom policy?

“Growing Up Evancho” proposes to answer that question. The one-hour special airing Aug. 9 at 10 p.m. on TLC takes viewers inside the lives of Pine Township’s Evancho family.

Jackie, now 17, rose to national prominence seven years ago when –– as a 10 year-old ––  she stunned the judges of “America’s Got Talent” with her singing voice. Since then, she has sung alongside music legends such as Barbra Streisand, Andrea Bocelli and Tony Bennett. She also has performed for former President Barack Obama and sung the national anthem at the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Juliet, Jackie’s older sister, attracted national attention when she joined two fellow transgender high school students in a lawsuit to force the Pine-Richland School District to continue to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their gender identity.

"What I hope people take away from it is that they'll just see that I'm a normal human being, and they'll see that Jackie's a normal human being," Juliet told the Trib about the upcoming TV special. "It's just that our circumstances are very different."

In addition to Jackie and Juliet, the program introduces viewers to siblings Rachel, 13, and Zach, 15, and to parents Lisa and Mike Evancho.

“It’s unique in that they want to do this, they all want to live in this world of entertainment,” executive producer Bob Magill says. “That’s what made it the perfect subject for unscripted television.”

The program follows the family at home as well as to family outings and events for Jackie and Juliet.

“When I first had the idea, I knew of the family but not very well, and I thought it would make a great special because a lot of people know of them,” Magill  says.

He hopes good ratings will lead to a follow-up show.

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed,” he says. “I want to see us make more and see where the family goes.”

Categories: The 412