CBS announces the new reality show THE BRIEFCASE, featuring hard-working American families experiencing financial setbacks who are presented with a briefcase containing a large sum of money and a potentially life-altering decision: they can keep all of the money for themselves, or give all or part of it to another family in need. The series premieres Wednesday, May 27 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
“THE BRIEFCASE is an eye-opening look into what matters most in people’s lives, taking the audience on an emotional roller coaster ride with a shocking ending each week,” said THE BRIEFCASE Creator and Executive Producer Dave Broome. “I’ve been incredibly impressed by just how generous Americans are, even with shrinking paychecks and rising debt, when there’s little left to give.”
Each week, two families have 72 hours to learn details about each other’s challenging circumstances and make the weighty decision of what to do with $101,000. However, what they don’t know is that the family with whom they are considering sharing this financial windfall received an identical briefcase with the same instructions. Throughout their journeys, relationships within both families will be tested and beliefs questioned as they find out what really matters most in their lives, and how much importance they place on values such as love, generosity, compassion and faith.
THE BRIEFCASE is produced by 25/7 Productions and distributed by Sony Pictures Television. Dave Broome (Creator and Executive Producer, THE BIGGEST LOSER) and Faye Stapleton are executive producers.
The following families are participating in THE BRIEFCASE:
Joe: Ice Cream Truck Owner
Kim: Part-Time Event Planner
Three children, ages 15, 13 and 12
After Joe was laid off from his corporate job 10 years ago, he and his wife, Kim, started an ice cream truck business which is struggling.
Dave: Injured Retired Iraq Vet
One child, age 3, with another on the way
Dave is an American hero whose Humvee exploded when he was in Iraq and he lost his leg. He and his wife, Cara, are expecting their second child this summer. Living on one income with a growing family has put a significant amount of stress on the Bronsons.
Matt: Former Steel Industry Worker
Becky: Stay-at-Home Mom
Two children, ages 20 and 16
Rio Vista, Texas
After suffering a bad back injury almost 20 years ago and losing his well-paying job in the steel industry, Matt now works as the local constable. Becky and Matt admit that their financial situation has made life difficult, but they believe strongly in community service and rely heavily on their Christian faith to guide them.
Tonya: Director of the nonprofit City Year
Leila: Managing Director of the nonprofit City Year
Two children, ages 14 and 9
Three years ago, Tonya and Leila took in Leila’s nephews, Milton and Jaden, and today the children are thriving. Taking on the responsibility of two children comes with added costs, and they have put their dream of having a child of their own on hold.
Josh: Telecommunications Installer
Susan: Sheriff’s Office Clerk
Josh and Susan hope to expand their family and adopt a child, but living paycheck to paycheck has made it difficult to make their dream come true. With their large amount of debt and the hefty price of adoption, they fear that it may never become reality.
John: Commercial Fisherman in Florida
Amanda: Stay-at-Home Mom in North Carolina
Three children, ages 12, 10 and 7
Fuqua Varina, N.C.
John and Amanda were living the American dream until they lost their business and were forced to sell their house. With the family based in North Carolina and John’s fishing job in Florida, the family spends more than half the year apart, straining their relationship.
Richard: High School Teacher
Esperanza: Special Ed Teacher
Two children, ages 19 and 16
Boyle Heights, Calif.
The Matas are extremely passionate about their Mexican heritage, and they all perform together in a Mariachi band on the weekends. In addition to playing, they run a Mariachi conservatory to teach youth the art in hopes of keeping them off the streets of Los Angeles. Their value of education has driven them into large debt with student loans, and as teachers they often find themselves spending their own money on supplies.
Cara: Stay-at-Home Mom
Four children, ages 14, 11, 9 and 7
Living on one income with four children is a challenge financially for Mark and Cara, but over the past six years they’ve managed to foster multiple children. Their eldest son started the charity “Guys with Pies” that has raised more than $30,000, and Cara is going back to school to become a lawyer so she can help advocate for foster children.
Gabe: Insurance Agent
Krystal: Stay-at-Home Mom
Six children, ages 9, 6, 4, 2, and 2-year-old twins
Gabe and Krystal Moya are high school sweethearts whose lives revolve around faith and family. The Moya’s finances hit rock bottom in 2009, but through all the hard times, they remain positive, feel blessed, and are determined to raise their children with strong faith.
Amari Vendely: Unemployed
Natalie Salgado: Medical Assistant
Three children, ages 7, 5 and 3
Amari and Natalie’s financial situation hit a rough patch when Natalie was laid off from her position as a medical assistant. She has since found another job, but the time unemployed in-between jobs took a toll on the family. In addition there will be extra expenses for Amari’s transition. He was born female, but after giving birth to two children and living as a woman for most of her adult life, he now lives as a man.
Mike Aponte: Welder
Andrea Kassimatis: Pediatric Nurse
Three children, ages 14, 7 and 11 months
Union Beach, N.J.
Mike and Andrea have been together for nine years. In 2009, they invested in a house, but shortly after completing the renovations, Hurricane Sandy hit the New Jersey coast and destroyed what they had built.
Robert: Educational Consultant
Lucy: Special Programs Coordinator
Two children, ages 9 and 3
Robert and Lucy place high importance on education within their family. Robert is an educational consultant with a master’s degree from Wright University and working on his doctorate. Lucy is a special programs coordinator at Wright University. With large student loans and trying to pay for their children’s education, they have a hard time staying afloat financially.