“Return to Amish” is a spinoff of the hugely popular TLC original series “Breaking Amish.” The original series followed a group of Amish and Mennonite youth as they ventured out of their religious and restrictive world into a big city for the first time. Viewers share new experiences and the temptations of the modern world through the eyes of the young cast. “Return to Amish” is the spinoff of that original series that follows some of the original cast and their experiences with dating, family, marriage, and day-to-day life.
If you’re just catching up with the Amish reality show universe, here’s a quick rundown of some of the characters and a little more about “Return to Amish.”
Main Characters of “Return to Amish”
Abe & Rebecca Schmucker (Ex-Amish):
Rebecca and Abe Schmucker started their TLC reality show journey on the original “Breaking Amish” series cast and lasted just four seasons in the “Return to Amish” spinoff. Viewers of “Return to Amish” were able to reconnect with Abe and Rebecca in a small town near their original home in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. They did not return entirely to the Amish lifestyle or religious teachings but are still close to much of their Amish family (Mary, Chester, Katie Ann). Today, Abe works as a truck driver, and Rebecca is a stay-at-home mom to daughters Malika and Kayla.
Jeremiah Raber (Ex-Amish):
Ex-Amish bad-boy, Jeremiah Raber, has had many ups and downs since “Return to Amish” began filming. His tumultuous relationship with and treatment of Carmela Raber continues to be an issue for him. Fans of Jeremiah are hopeful that he can turn his life around and become a better man.
Kate Stoltz (Stoltzfus) (Ex-Amish):
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Kate Stoltzfus, or Kate Stolz, began her Amish TV journey on the OG series “Breaking Amish.” She grew up in Lancaster, PA, and is the daughter of a bishop. She has arguably made the most dramatic transformation in the cast as she has embraced NYC as her home. “Return to Amish” viewers can follow her in the modern city as she works on her modeling career and as the CEO of Developing Faces, a charity organization that helps children and babies around the world that are born with facial abnormalities get life-changing surgery.
Sabrina Burkholder (Ex-Mennonite):
Sabrina High (now Burkholder) is an original “Breaking Amish” cast member. Sabrina was adopted by a Mennonite family and was born to Puerto Rican and Italian parents. Sabrina has struggled with drug addiction and nearly overdosed on heroin in 2018. Now we find Sabrina raising five children (Oakley, Arianna, Zekiah, Skylar, and Kalani) alongside her boyfriend, and father to three of her children, Jethro Nolt.
Mary Schmucker (Amish):
Mary Schmucker is among the most beloved characters and has been a fan favorite in “Breaking Amish” and “Return to Amish.” Mary is Abe Schmucker’s mother and is a steady presence in Abe, Rebecca, and their children’s life. The family remains close, and their relationship was one of the biggest factors in Abe and Rebecca’s return to Pennsylvania. Mary is most famous for her not very Amish behavior, including driving a car, dancing, and even drinking — which got her shunned by the Amish community for a time. She has since returned to good graces in time to attend her daughter, Katie Ann’s, Amish wedding. It remains to be seen if she will join the cast in 2022, though she has announced she will not return.
Chester Schmucker (Amish):
Chester Schmucker is Mary Schmucker’s husband. Chester has stayed devoted to his Amish roots throughout the series. Chester had to face some of the repercussions of Mary’s behavior and was also briefly shunned by the Amish after Mary’s shenanigans. The pair has since been reinstated and are currently practicing Amish.
Katie Ann Schmucker (Amish):
Katie Ann is Abe Schmucker’s sister and Mary Schmucker’s daughter. Katie Ann is one of the few young cast members who has remained Amish. Katie Ann was an original “Breaking Amish” character who left the TV series to join the rodeo and move in with her boyfriend. When that didn’t work out for her she returned to Amish life, married, and started a family.
Andrew Schmucker (Ex-Amish):
Andrew Schmucker and his brother Abe were both featured on the original “Breaking Amish” TV series, and both have also joined the “Return to Amish” cast. Andrew has had a troubled journey and was recently released from jail after violating parole for a previous arrest. He has tried to work things out with his on-again-off-again girlfriend and former wife, Chapel Peace Schmucker. He is also working to repair his relationships with the rest of his family which has also been a struggle for him.
Chapel Peace Schmucker (English):
Chapel Peace Schmucker is the wife of Andrew Schmucker and is the series’ only English (or non-Amish) main character. Chapel may be best known for her battle with cancer, which has been the source of some controversy for the show as some fans claimed she was faking the disease. She also has struggled with substance abuse and was arrested on related drug charges.
Rosanna Miller left her tight-knit Amish community to join the show for season 6 of “Return to Amish.” Despite her very sheltered life, she seemed excited to experience life among the “English” (non-Amish).
During the season premiere, she had this to say, “I want to leave the Amish because really all we do is work and sleep, and we’re not allowed to really go out and have fun.”
Rosanna found a new interest in makeup when she joined Maureen for an “English makeover.”
Maureen was another new entry to “Return to Amish” in season 6 with Rosanna; both travel to Florida to meet the others. She finds new love in Daniel during the season who she leans on for support. Maureen’s grandmother, Ada, throws the girls a party at the end of the season.
Where Can You Watch “Return to Amish?”
You can stream or watch past and current episodes of “Return to Amish” across multiple streaming platforms.
- Prime Video
- Spectrum TV
- TLC GO
- The Roku Channel
How Are “Return to Amish” and “Breaking Amish” Related?
The original TLC series “Breaking Amish” debuted in the fall of 2012, and was the highest-rated first season series in the network’s history. The OG series followed several sheltered Amish youths as they experienced new worlds and challenges outside of the regimented and restrictive Amish communities in New York City. The show captured the contrast between youth today, and in their Amish and Mennonite communities.
“Return to Amish” is a spinoff where viewers can get back in touch with their favorite “Breaking Amish” characters, many of whom have returned back to their Amish and Mennonite roots in Pennsylvania, after their big-city experiences.
Popular returning characters like Abe, Rebecca, Sabrina, and Jeremiah now reside near their families in PA. Viewers also see the contrast between other cast members and Kate Stolz, who has officially moved to New York City, leaving behind the Amish lifestyle. While not all characters are officially Amish anymore, they do still follow some of the traditions and holidays of their roots
Is “Return to Amish” Scripted?
As with any reality show, it’s difficult to know for sure how much is scripted and what is organic. While the show may not have a physical script, there may be some prodding or editing that doesn’t exactly reflect real-life events. Real life, after all, isn’t lived in exciting 30-minute segments.
But there have been some specific complaints from viewers (and some cast members) about the accuracy of both “Breaking Amish” and “Return to Amish” event portrayals.
There have also been controversies related to casting, including the suggestion that many of the characters were out of the Amish community for a long time before filming. It was also shown that two cast members, who reportedly did not know each other, actually already had a child together from a previous relationship. There have even been suggestions that Chapel Peace Schmucker faked her cancer to cover up heroin addiction – by her own cast mate, no less.
As with any reality show, understand that the whole truth may not show up on your TV screen. Check out the show “Unreal” if you’d like to get an inside take on reality TV production.
Will There Be a Season 7 of “Return to Amish?”
As of yet, TLC has not announced if there will be season seven for “Return to Amish.” As such, there is no release date to provide. The series has not officially been canceled, so there’s still hope for fans that they’ll see more of the show. The show may simply be on a brief hiatus due to the pandemic. We will keep you posted on the status as soon as we know!
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Before watching “Return to Amish,” you may want to start with a “Breaking Amish” marathon. Or you just love Reality TV shows (and shows about Reality TV shows) that are ripe for viewing like:
- “Breaking Amish”
- “Amish in the City”
- “Amish Mafia”
- “Sister Wives”
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