5 Reality Series Inspired By Daytime Soap Operas
No. 1: The Real World
"This is the true story"... Okay, you know the rest, but what you might not be aware of is that "true story" of seven strangers picked to live in a loft and have their lives taped was originally pitched as a scripted soap opera to MTV!
Veteran daytime executive Mary Elis-Bunim (Search For Tomorrow, As The World Turns, Loving, Santa Barbara) and producing partner Jonathan Murray reportedly proposed a scripted sudser about New Yorkers striving to achieve their dreams. MTV balked once they found out how much it would cost to do a scripted soap.
Bunim and Murray came back to the table with the idea of doing the show as a reality series, inspired by the classic PBS docu-drama An American Family. Only instead of documenting the lives of a real-life family, The Real World would follow seven young adults, from various walks of life, who'd never laid eyes on one another.
The series was a smash hit from its 1992 premiere season. Twenty years later, The Real World is set to premiere its 28th season, set in Portland, Oregon, in early 2013.