- Associated Press - Saturday, July 15, 2017

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - Arlene Cody Bashnett and Genevieve Musci, the Clarksburg sisters who are internet sensations, are back at it again on television.

Genevieve “Gramma” and Arlene “Ginga,” 103 and 98, respectively, were asked to be on “Little Big Shots: Forever Young” hosted by Steve Harvey. The episode they are featured on will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday on NBC.

This appearance follows the sisters’ rise to fame on Facebook, which landed them on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” last year. The sisters were also parade marshals for the 38th annual West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival and the 2016 Clarksburg Christmas Parade.

“Little Big Shots: Forever Young” features seniors ranging in age from 60 to 103 years of age and showcases their hidden talents, vibrant personalities and wisdom. It’s a spinoff of “Little Big Shots,” which gives children a chance to showcase their talents to a primetime TV audience.

“The show was fun,” ”Gramma” said. “Steve Harvey, he’s the one that makes the show. I watch it all the time. We just sat there and talked with him. It was great.”

“Ginga” said their April trip to Hollywood was a busy nine days. The sisters spent a lot of time on set but also got to enjoy a lot of new experiences.

“Steve Harvey was a nice fella, and I really enjoyed talking with him,” ”Ginga” said. “It was neat because he’s from West Virginia and his father was a coal miner.”

During their time in Hollywood, “Ginga” said they met a lot of new - and some famous - people.

“It was really something. We’d be walking down the street, and someone would stop us and say, ‘Are you ‘Ginga’?’” she said. “I would say yes, and then they’d ask to take a photo with us.”

“Gramma” and “Ginga” said not only did they get to experience being on a television set with a live audience, they got a behind-the-scenes look, too.

“They showed us how they made movies and how they made it rain,” ”Gramma” said. “They showed us how they make it flood, and ‘Ginga’ was scared it was going to take out our bus.”

The sisters got to walk down the red carpet, which they both said was much shorter in real life than they thought. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the sisters said.

“Little Big Shots: Forever Young” executive producer Alison Holloway said the sisters were a no-brainer for the show.

“These ladies have an enormous YouTube following with over 20 million views. One of our casting team members was familiar with them and reached out,” Holloway said. “There was never any question that we had to get them on our show.”

Holloway said the show’s TV audience will see “Gramma” and “Ginga” do what they do best - be themselves.

“Having the two of them together on our stage was some of the most entertaining television I’ve ever been a part of,” she said. “They’re absolutely hilarious and such lovely women.”

Holloway said the women were able to stand out with their strong personalities.

“It’s extraordinary that ‘Gramma’ is still sharp as a tack at 103 years old. And at 98, ‘Ginga’ is such a firecracker,” Holloway said. ” But it’s more than their ages that made them stand out for us. I think no matter who you are, there’s a genuine joy that comes from watching them. If only we can all live to such a wonderful age.”


Information from: The Exponent Telegram, https://www.theet.com

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