U.S. cable channel TLC will mark Memorial Day with a special preview of its feel-good series Surprise Homecoming this evening, capturing the moment that surprised family members are reunited with loved ones who have been serving overseas in the military.
The eight-part series is made by Authentic Entertainment and hosted by acclaimed singer-songwriter Billy Ray Cyrus (pictured above), who personally helps reunite one family per episode. In all, each episode will features three emotional homecomings, along with personal home videos highlighting other military family reunions.
Talking to realscreen in New York, Cyrus described the show as a “passion project,” and said it was his chance “to say thanks” to America’s troops.
“It’s based around the element of surprise, and I’ve always loved that,” he added of the show. “It’s one of my favorite things about any holiday… having a surprise. And when a surprise is a gift and you see people get happy, that’s what it’s all about.”
In addition to fronting the show, Cyrus will also provide the theme song for the series with his latest single Runway Lights. Music forms an important link to the program, with the original inspiration coming from one of the songwriter’s early musical efforts.
“In 1989 I wrote a song called All Gave Some, Some Gave All,” Cyrus explained, “about a Vietnam veteran. For years my purpose has been to give back to our troops, to say thanks again for their dedication to our country.”
Following tonight’s preview, the series will premiere on July 11 at 10 p.m. EST. Click below to listen to the audio interview:
The special Memorial Day preview of Surprise Homecoming airs tonight on TLC at 10 p.m. EST.