Surprise military reunions reality show coming to Lifetime -- EXCLUSIVE

Coming-Home-2Image Credit: LifetimeGet the tissues: Lifetime has ordered a reality series inspired by the online phenomena of watching surprise military reunions, with a former American Idol finalist as host.

Coming Home will feature U.S. soldiers reuniting with loved ones after serving long tours of duty. The show will be paired with Lifetime’s hit drama Army Wives.

Former Idol Top 12 finalist Matt Rogers will host the program’s 13 hour-long episodes, which will each show five reunions between members of the armed forces and their families.

Coming Home (executive produced by Tom Forman and Star Price) will premiere on the network on Sunday, March 6 at 10 p.m., right after the fifth-season debut of Wives. Lifetime has some competition here, as TLC is working on a similar show, hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus.

For those who haven’t seen these sort of videos before, get ready to cry your eyes out:

Comments (124 total) Add your comment
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  • Elizabeth

    Yeah, everytime the news has some kid surprised at school by their dad, I lose it.

    BTW: Billy Ray slams television for ruining his family and low and behold the next day – he’s got a new TV show! Honestly…

    • brenda

      um elizbeth?? he is doing a very good thing for ppls familys. stop being selfish.

  • Kate

    Saw the promo yesterday and even that was enough to get me crying!

    • cj


  • Dezimarie

    I don’t think I could watch either of those shows at all. It would be just too much. Takes me back to when I missed my mom like crazy during the first Iraq war. I totally get how those kids feel.

    • jennifer

      i totally agree with you on that. it would take me back to the two 6 deployments and all the underways hubby did. and i am a sofety for military so i cry no matter how far apart i watch them. its a happpy cry though.

  • Katja

    I love watching these kinds of videos, but only in the right mood, because I WILL cry and it will totally drain me for the rest of the evening. May all overseas personnel find their way safely back home.

    • Cirrection

      See, this commentor got it right!

    • Bethany

      I’m with you on this one.

      • jennifer

        i totally agree it all depends on the mood

  • Cirrection

    FYI, James Hibberd, “soldiers” are in the Army. Airmen, the Air Force, sailors, the Navy, and marines, the Marine Corps. If this series will indeed show reunions between fams and “members of the armed forces”, you should have written “servicemembers” instead of “soldiers”. It’s a respect thing, and the least our men and women in uniform deserve. Get that AP styleguide out!

    • Sheli

      I agree. Plus Marine is always capitalized. But I’m sure they got it right. They usually just focus on the Army with this stuff. After 16 years as a Marine wife, I’ve gotten used to the general public forgetting we have other branches of service besides the Army. It was nice to see someone else notice it, though. Thumbs up!

      • ProudArmyWife

        I am an Army Wife (but my brother in law is AF and husbands cousin a Marine) and I agree yes, you mostly do hear the term soldiers, and I strongly do believe all branches should be treated equally because without even on branch, we wouldn’t have a military because each branch has an important role in keeping the military together and keeping the other branches safe. But maybe they focus more on Army because they are the ones gone longest, who knows? I’m not saying it’s fair or right but just a thought as to why.

    • kibby

      Jesus christ… shut up! Whop the ef cares. My husband is deployed right now and i am pretty sure he wouldn’t feel disrespected by the term soldier. You are dumb.

      • Krys

        My husband is in the Air Force and he would feel disrespected.

      • Cirretion

        Well I served MYSELF, so I’d like my opinion considered. Given the level of respect you’ve demonstrated with your comment, I suggest you thank your lucky stars that people like me are willing to die to protect people like you.

    • danielle

      thank you! for saying that I hate when people call my boyfriend a soldier he is a Marine

      • Melinda


        I hear ya girl. There are soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen. My husband did 24 in the Corps. Semper Fi!!

      • Simone Henry- Lewis

        I also agree weither they are Marines, Airmen , Army they are still SOILDERS my 25yr old son is a Marine and he doesn’t like the special attention because it was his decicsion to server our country ,so i take my hat off to all of our men women who have and is still serving our country But i would love for my son to surprise his 9yr and 6yr old niece and nephew who they haven’t seen in awhile so let’s just be happy for the ones who can have happy closure !! stay encourage to all !!!!!!!!

  • Voice of Reason

    Exploitation of the service members for ratings…

    • Trish

      My daughter is 7 and misses her daddy like crazy. He has been gone for 11months already. Not exactly sure when he will be back but GOSH if he surprised her by picking her up at school would be so wonderful for her. You hush your mouth…people are forgetting about our troops and they need to be brought to people’s REALITY! They are OUR reality everyday.

      • jennifer

        amen to that

      • Jeff

        Look up Warriors Watch Riders if you want a spectacular homecoming for ANY service member, Air Force, Navy Amrine, Army, Coast Guard

      • a.s.

        Sending a prayer your daughters way, that she will get her happy reunion with her Daddy very soon. Thanks to your husband, and you and your daughter.

      • Simone Henry- Lewis

        AMEN !!!!!! I pray someting nice like a surprise happens for you and your daughter I wish i could make it happen for you and yours but i’ll keep praying that iti will BE ENCOURAGE !!!!! people just don’t know what to say forgive their ingorance !!!!!!

    • TaLana

      I’m guessing you don’t have a service member overseas?….

      • TaLana

        It’s not exploiting…it’s honoring and recognizing the sacrifice we all go through; service members and families.

      • Suzanne

        My husband was active duty for six years and I’ve been through two deployments and countless workups. My husband and I were talking about this show and we both believe that it’s exploitative. The parents of these children are trying to do a really wonderful thing by surprising them but I think that Lifetime is using their moments to jack up ratings. How about there’s some type of balance for Lifetime by having them do something akin to ‘Alive Day’ which aired on HBO. Or maybe Lifetime could use some of their airtime to compel people to actually DO SOMETHING to assist service members and their families whether it be with adjusting to life after active duty or fighting for the rights of service members to keep the benefits they’ve been promised and deserve. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean they don’t support the troops.

    • debbie

      try living without that person in your family that didnt make it back fighting for all our freedom!!

    • a.s.

      Call it exploitation if you want, whatever. These men & women, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, whatever the hell you want to call them, the fact of the matter is that they totally deserve the recognition. We all sit in our living rooms for one hour a week and cry tears of joy for them, with them, and quite frankly I don’t give a damn who makes a dollar off of it, I am very thankful they have allowed us to share this special time with them. In a time where most of the other networks are improving their ratings with vulgarity and stuff you can’t watch with your children, I say kudos to Lifetime and other networks. Those that have found a way to improve their ratings, produce shows that I can sit with my four small daughters and watch, give these service members the respect, honor, and recognition they deserve, and remind us that we should all be thankful for the life we are able to live, and for the ones that are out fighting making that life possible. Thank you to all the service men and women for what you do. And also to the spouses, children, parents, and other family members. They also do not get the recognition they deserve. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you that still have loved ones over there, and for those of you that will be sending loved ones over.

      • RubySmith

        YOU are wonderful! I agree with every line you have written. thank you, A.S. for seeing the truth in this new show – thank You, God, for bringing them home.

  • Brigid

    I’ve never had one of my family members overseas serving, but I’ll be damned if I don’t cry like a BABY every single time I see one of these videos.

  • Betty Warren

    My husband is retired Air Guard, never had to go away, though many of his friends from the Air Guard have & thank the Good Lord, they have all returned safely. This is one program, I’ll certainly watch & of course, will cry, but it will be so wonderful to see families reunited,even is if it’s on camera, Everyone who hasn’t had a family member sent over needs to watch this!!! Then they will understand the pain of these families!!

  • Jennifer

    Are they going to show children being afraid of the stranger in the uniform that everyone tells them is their daddy?
    Are they going to show spouses meeting their soldiers at Ramstein burn center for the first time after an IED attack?
    Nope. Just the sanitized, feel-good moments!

    • roy guercio

      Because maybe all you usually read and see is when a military person is in trouble and it makes front page but a medal of honor recipient gets page 17 in the entertainment section.

  • LAW

    This is an AWFUL idea. why should anyone voyeuristically get to watch a very private moment. You want to get your jollies watching military families? Are you willing to watch us during the dark days? you want to watch us freeze when a dark sedan comes down the street and stops on our block? you want to watch us sitting by the phone? you want to watch our children cry for their parent? UNTIL you say yes – and watch the bad – don’t sit there and say You Understand because you’ve seen a few reunions! Reality isn’t a few balloons, and hugs and tears. We don’t go galloping off into the sunset and all is rosy. How about you watch the reintegration nightmares a lot of us live through. You want to “feel our pain”? Fine. Get someone you love to put on a uniform and head downrange. Until then, stop telling us you are honoring us, or feeling our pain. You Don’t.

  • libarmywife

    my prior comment was deleted. don’t like negative comments?

  • Pink Combat Boots

    Is there going to be any mention of the reintegration struggles post deployment? It’s not all sugar and sunshine once the servicemember comes home. There’s still a lot of work and struggle that goes on post deployment. On the one hand, I’m glad they’re sharing about our servicemembers, but on the other hand, it’s not very honest to just show a “happy ending” and leave it at that. It doesn’t work like that and it’s keeping civilians in the dark about what it’s really like.

  • FeministMilitarySpouse

    I find this type of voyeurism extremely distasteful, on par with slapping a yellow ribbon on your car and then voting for decreased VA benefits for the wounded, increased health care costs for them and their families, etc.
    Every time I pick my husband up at the airport after he’s been away people expect me to fling myself on him and scream/cry/carry-on for their benefit. I’ve gotten dirty looks when I just grab his bags and we walk to the car because those moments are private for us.
    Watching a happy homecoming doesn’t begin to touch the sorrow of departure, the sleepless nights, the child crying for their Dad and not recognizing him when he comes home (or worse, thinking every time he leaves the house he’s not coming back). They don’t encapsulate the difficulty of frequent moves, or the worry when the one phone call you’ve gotten in months goes dead mid-sentence. It doesn’t cover how we cope when they don’t come home at all or in one piece.
    If the American people wants to experience military families sacrifices, you have to cover the whole deployment cycle and recycle (since most of these people are several tours in). Until then, this is just “reunion porn” designed to make the American people feel better about ignoring service members, their families, and their needs.
    It’s disgusting.

  • libarmywife

    As I previously posted: This is not a good idea. our families do not need to have an already stressful time made even more so by intrusive cameras. If you want reality- find a military family you can sponsor or support and see what they REALLY go through. If you want to watch the good times, you need to watch the bad as well. This is NOT supporting the families.

    • debbie


    • jen

      I agree. again and again. The things that they put the families through is non-caring and all for a money making SHOW.

    • Mel P

      Uh…the show also does an entire episode about the death of a soldier and the pain their family went through. I have a family member deployed and our family thinks “Coming Home” does a great job of showing a window into the good and the bad. These families deserve the kind of amazing reunions Lifetime is helping them have and the show is raising awareness about what military families go through.

  • Layla

    This is a terrible idea. I’m a former military brat, I’ve lived through more then my fair share of separations, and I’ve been through two deployments with my husband. I’m sorry but if the American public wants to see what it’s like being personally affiliated to the military, then they should reach out to us. They should make the effort to get to know us, and be with us during the actual deployment, not just the reunion. Or even better, follow through after the post-reunion bliss, and help us when we try and put our life back together after spending a year apart. This is not support. This is exploitation for a warm and fuzzy Hallmark feeling.

    • dani

      i disagree ive been through deployments as well with my husband hes in the marines, infanty and they cant reach out to us if they dont know what its really like and although this tv show wont show all the heartache, all the responsibilities we go through but it will get it out there, since this war has been going on for awhile people forget about our men and women who serve they stop supporting, this show will get more support to everyone over seas

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