This summer, ABC has turned its Saturday night into three hours of high energy family fun. The evening opens with season two of Bet On Your Baby, led by the network's game show hostess extraordinaire, Melissa Peterman. BFTV checked back in with Melissa on Thursday to talk about the new episodes and what her secret is when it comes to keeping the whole crazy show together.
"It's always a luxury when you get to have another shot at something," she said. "What we did the second season was, instead of having five families compete each episode, we went down to four couples. It gave us more time to spend with the kids and more time with the families. We just have more time to sort of showcase the families and the kids.
"We also changed the end game - the game where everyone comes back and they have the opportunity to play for the chance to smash the pig," she continued. "I think it's a little more nervewracking and a little more fun because the kids are involved."
What are Melissa's favorite parts of the show? "The kids themselves, the things that come out of their mouth, I enjoy throughly," she told us. "We have a big winner coming up, that wins the whole thing and we love that moment. Different games, a lot of new games are played.
"I just really want people to know that sometimes [because of] the title, people think we're pitting babies against babies and that's so not the case!" she laughed. "We want them to walk away and have fun."
At this point, it seems like it's in Melissa's contract that she has to be around small children, whether it's hosting Bet On Your Baby or playing Bonnie Wheeler on ABC Family's sitcom Baby Daddy. Is she an expert at working with kids now? "I think so," she said. "I think so. "I have an eight-year-old. I love having two jobs where, [on] Baby Daddy I get the little ones and this show I get the awesome range from like two to four. I get my little kid fix at work and my big kid fix at home!"
The adorable children aren't the only appeal of Bet On Your Baby, though. Melissa has hosted three different unscripted shows now (the other two being CMT's version of The Singing Bee and ABC Family's Dancing Fools), and she's always got plenty of personality. We asked her how she's able to bring such high energy all the time.
"I think the secret to being a good host is knowing it's not about you. It's about them and making sure they look like superstars," she reflected. "I think everyone's got a story, everyone's fun, everyone's interesting...I genuinely enjoy hanging out with people."
"My favorite thing is helping somebody take maybe a little bit of a load off worrying about the future," she continued. "Nowadays, college is expensive and it doesn't matter what school you go to. It's a huge financial burden on families." Another plus? I'm still friends with the families from first year," she added - because really, who wouldn't want to be friends with someone as sweet and outgoing as Melissa Peterman?
When she's not hosting, Melissa has plenty of other projects to keep her busy. "Baby Daddy season 3 is about wrapping up; we've got two new episodes coming. We got picked up for season four which is thrilling and we'll be starting back to work in August," she said. "I'm hosting the Sound of Music Sing-Along at the Hollywood Bowl again in September."
But appropriately, what she loves most is everything she's got going on with her own family. "Today's my 15-year anniversary, so that's kind of exciting," she enthused, also preparing to celebrate her son's promotion at school. "I now have a third-grader!" Sounds like she's got plenty to be excited about.
Bet On Your Baby airs Saturdays at 8 PM ET/PT on ABC. For more on Melissa, be sure you're following her on Twitter (@FollowTheBlonde); she will be live-tweeting during new Bet On Your Baby episodes!