MTV Studios, a subsidiary of Viacom’s MTV, Oct. 17 announced a partnership with Facebook to reboot reality TV pioneer “The Real World” for three new seasons debuting in spring 2019.
Originally created for MTV in 1992 by Jonathan Murray and the late Mary-Ellis Bunim of Bunim/Murray Productions, “MTV’s The Real World” was a trailblazing social experiment. It was the first reality series on TV and the first to tackle culturally resonant stories about HIV/AIDS, race, mental health, homophobia, addiction, and more — including the first bisexual man on a TV series, the first televised same-sex commitment ceremony.
Drawing on Facebook’s global platform, the new seasons will base productions in Mexico, Thailand and the United States, respectively, to explore “friendship” and the cultural and social environment in each country.
Available exclusively on on-demand streaming video platform Facebook Watch, the new seasons will introduce interactive social and community features that will enable viewers to shape the action and connect across mobile, desktop and Facebook’s TV app.
Bunim/Murray Productions is co-producing the new seasons with MTV Studios and pre-production is underway in each location.
Facebook users will have the ability to vote one housemate onto the show prior to air, and there will be opportunities for viewers to connect with the cast through Facebook Live, Premieres, and Watch Party. Facebook Watch will also release daily drops of scenes from forthcoming episodes leading into the weekly half-hour premiere. Additional social elements will be introduced prior to launch and throughout the seasons.
“‘MTV’s The Real World’ helped to define a generation and created a new genre of television with a simple yet powerful idea of connecting people from wildly divergent backgrounds to find common ground on the issues that often divided them,” Chris McCarthy, president of MTV, said in a statement. “By partnering with Facebook Watch and BMP, we have the opportunity to impact culture and create a new genre of television all over again, while engaging the next generation of content consumers around the world.”