TLC to Document Willis Family's Rise to Stardom | NBC Chicago

TLC to Document Willis Family's Rise to Stardom

The touring group of 12 brothers and sisters first performed during season nine of “America’s Got Talent"

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    The Willis Clan will return to TV for a new reality show on TLC.

    The show, called “The Willis Family,” will follow the lives of the 14-member family and their band.

    The touring group of 12 brothers and sisters first performed during season nine of “America’s Got Talent.”

    The father of the Willis family, Toby, has a connection to the bribes-for-licenses scandal, one of the worst scandals in Illinois politics.

    Twenty years ago, six of Toby’s siblings were killed by an unlicensed truck driver in a Wisconsin crash. The tragedy ultimately led to the imprisonment of former Illinois Governor George Ryan. The truck driver behind the wheel had received a license through a bribe from a staffer in Ryan's office when he was Secretary of State.

    Ryan was convicted of racketeering and fraud. He was never charged in the Willis crash.

    "Life goes on, you have to just clean up, you have to go on, you have to smile, you have to go on, and I wanted to make sure people knew that we weren't just going to be sad for rest of life. We are sad, but there's joy," Toby Willis said during an interview last year.

    The Willis children range in age from four to 22. Each has a talent of their own, from singing and dancing to playing the accordion. All of their names also start with the letter "J."

    “I want people to understand that we are a normal family like anyone else and we try to live our lives to the fullest,” said mother Brenda Willis during an exclusive interview with the New York Post.

    “The Willis Family,” premieres May 5 at 9 p.m. CT on TLC.