“The Real World” Turns 20

The Real World has been a fixture on MTV for longer than most of the channels viewers have been on this earth. The show turned 20 earlier this month and has accumulated 532 episodes that filmed in 21 cities for 26 seasons.

Surprisingly viewers haven’t lost interest of seeing “what happens … when people stop being polite … and start getting real.”

According to TV by the Numbers, last September The Real World: San Diego drew nearly 2 million viewers. Which made the show the number 1 original cable series that night, and was the best premiere in five seasons. But The Real World‘s significance goes beyond how well it does in the ratings.

The show gave birth to the idea of Reality TV.

The Real World was definitely the first show to put people into a house to live together,” said Jonathan Murray, co-creator and executive producer of the series told CNN. It also introduced the “confessional” — a room where cast members can go to speak directly into the camera and comment on their actions, Murray said.

“We’ve seen certain shows like Newlyweds or The Osbournes or Jersey Shore come along, and somehow, The Real World keeps coming back while some of those other shows have their super bright nova in the sky,” Murray added.

The Real World shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The Real World: St. Thomas is set to air on MTV this summer, and the 28th season has already been ordered.

Murray also told CNN that his biggest fear for the show isn’t getting canceled. “I’m scared for the day that we actually have someone apply to be on the show who’s the son or daughter of someone who has been on the show,” Murray admitted.

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