Five reality show houses examined

USA TODAY takes a look at five houses that currently or recently hosted a reality TV show.

For example, the paper talks to producer Jon Murray about The Real World Austin‘s converted warehouse, which he defends even though it’s not a realistic house. Murray said, “this is television — people don’t want to look at (crummy) houses!” He says the cast’s interaction “happens in a beautiful, fantasy environment.”

The paper also reports that the house used by all five seasons of The Surreal Life was built by Glen Campbell and rented to the production by two doctors who’d leave with their kids for two months every time production began. However, they just sold the house, so if VH1 picks up a sixth season, it may have to relocate.

Finally, the paper notes that the new Big Brother 6 house has “double railings on the balconies to keep people from falling off the second floor.” Scott Storey (who also designed the interior of The Surreal Life houses), says, “The unspoken truth is that these are really eccentric personalities. We liquor them up and want them to act crazy, but don’t want them to get hurt.”

Peek inside houses that reality built [USA TODAY]
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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.