Craig Morgan's new TV show, Morgan Family Strong, premieres on Thursday, March 1, on the UP! TV network. The series will show Morgan, along with his wife, Karen, sons Kyle and Wyatt, and daughter Aly, as they cope with the devastating loss of their son and brother, Jerry (who died in 2016), and channel their grief into opening their own Morgan Farms store.
"There's something therapeutic about talking about it, and we don't do it with a psychiatrist," Morgan tells PopCulture.com. "We just kind of do it with the whole world. I will say this, too. The network that we're on, it really was a God thing. When we were first filming and talking about pitches and various places that we could have ended up, we went to the UP! Network to visit them, and when we went in there, I knew that it was going to be there for a couple reasons. One, our motto is 'Having a Positive Impact.' That's our family motto, our store motto. And we really do. We adhere to that as much as we possibly can. Everything that I do for me, it's at the forefront of the thought: 'Is it good? Is it going to help?' and 'Is it beneficial?'.
"That's really what I think about when I do things these days," he continues. "Not just because of Jerry. I know people think that this loss is what made me do that. It does enhance those thoughts, for sure. But really just because I'm at a point in my life, where the successes and the failures have brought me to this point to where I just really want to do well. I want to do good for people, and our family, and myself. This network, when we went in, they had this list of rules concerning the shows on the network that they must, basically, attempt to adhere to. One of them was 'Have a positive impact.' I'm not kidding. The other one was 'No created drama," and I loved that."
The idea for a reality TV show actually began a few years, before the death of Morgan's son. But after he passed away in a tubing accident, it became more important than ever to share their story.
"We were actually approached about doing a family show years ago when Jerry was here," Mogan says. "Which, I will tell you, that's why my wife Karen doesn't want, did not and still is not super into this. Because, if you look at the picture in all the promos, there's me and Karen and three of the kids. When we first shot the pilot for the first concept, it was all of us. Jerry was a big part of that. He was the star of that pilot."
While Morgan knows the timing for Morgan Family Strong wasn't right until now, he does wish he had gotten to film the series while Jerry was still alive.
"They asked each of us questions about the family and his questions were by far the funniest and the best," Morgan recounts. "There was another production company, but because of my touring schedule and various other things, everything I had going on in my life at that time, for whatever reason, it just didn't come as fast. So then, fast forward to, we lose Jerry. We started doing the different things. Carving, and then we decided we wanted to open up a business ...Something for us to focus on together. I will tell you. Karen was extremely against [the show]. Wyatt wasn't really for it. He wasn't against it, but he wasn't like 'Oh this is a great idea.'
"I think it's done more good for us, though," Aly adds. "I think it will do go for other people. We want to have a positive impact, whether that's with the store, with the gallery, Morgan Farms or with the sMorgan Family Strong show. I think the show will, even though we are vulnerable, and we are in a very vulnerable time in our life right now, after losing someone so close to us, as vulnerable as that makes us, there are other people in the world who deal with these same issues."
Most importantly, the Grand Ole Opry member hopes he can show both his fans and people who are just getting to know him, a different side of both himself and his family.
"People have seen me in the past, and I think they do have some insight to the fact that I'm not normal," Morgan says. "I'm not just a country singer. They have seen me enough in the past. And those who don't know me, or have never seen me, might see this show and know me for the first time. They'll get to learn that we are not putting this on. There's nothing fictitious or fake, or false. It is who we are and it's what we do, and we would be doing these things without the show."
"I think we have something special, too," Aly remarks. "You have a lot of individuals, a lot of celebrities who have their own thing, their own legacy that they're going to leave behind. We have a family that is leaving a legacy. We're working on something as a whole, that's not just Craig Morgan or just me or just my mom. This is ... We are Morgan family. It's all of us."
Morgan Family Strong premieres on Thursday night, March 1 at 9:30 PM ET. Check local listings here.
Read Part 1 of our interview with Morgan here.
Photo Credit: Facebook/Craig Morgan