'The Locator' looks toward promising broadcasting future

Published: Thursday, July 28 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

The family affair has been a learning experience for not just mother and son.

“Our children haven’t lived a sheltered life, but they have had an intact family with a father and mother, so the show has been a great opportunity for them to see the different consequences of lifestyles and choices that people make early on,” said Jennifer, who was sealed to Dunn in the Atlanta temple in 1988. “It’s certainly opened their eyes to ways that people who live their life one way can effect you in adulthood.”

Despite the nobility of their father’s work, Jennifer said it hasn’t been easy for the children to define what Dunn had been doing day in and day out.

“That’s always been a hard one for the kids to answer,” said. “How do you say that in one word, about being on a TV show that reunites people? As they’ve seen how these reunions impact people’s lives, it helps the kids and those who ask them about it visualize what he did. They can say, ‘Wow, my dad does impact lives in what he does for a living.’”

While Dunn said he only regrets that the stories of such couplings couldn’t have reached even more people through a larger network, he is looking forward to a project which will involve his family even more than the last season of “The Locator” did. He is currently developing a talk show that is planned to be an entire family affair.

The catch? Like Dunn was able to pull off before, making it onto a network that embraces family values with gospel standards.

But Dunn likes his chances.

“It’s amazing. You’d think that after a hit show, it would get easier to sell family values, but it’s never easier to sell Hollywood on that," said Dunn, who has also been an occasional contributor to FOX News and wrote a best-selling book in 2007 called “Young Bucks,” which discusses ways in which parents can raise a millionaire. “That’s my agenda, always has been.”

It’s a course that, while chartered through a world of well-known personalities, has availed Dunn some unique opportunities along the way. He said he is especially grateful for such opportunities after he had determined earlier in life not to serve a full-time mission — a decision he said resulted in nothing remarkably good happening during that two-year time of his life and a decision he is grateful his sons haven't followed so far. His oldest, Trey, recently returned from the Russia Moscow mission while his second child, Trevor, has received a call to Honduras.

“I’ve sat with Dr. Phil and shared my beliefs. I gave a Book of Mormon to Jerry Springer and explained eternal marriage to Jerry Seinfeld,” Dunn said. “I hope that Latter-day Saints and all of us can continue to be supportive of the type of content we all believe in. Doing so helps accomplish the Lord’s mission, and media is one way to do that."

“Strengthening families is what I continue to be committed to do," he continued. "Jennifer and I hope to do that in many ways in the future, as long as there is a running for good TV.”

Email: rwilkinson@desnews.com

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