Schools reject James Carville and Mary Matalin’s reality series Election

An upcoming Lifetime reality series that follows political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin as they help high school students run for class president has been rejected by a number of high schools. As a result, the show won’t be filmed until early next year; it was scheduled to air at the end of this year.

Election has been rejected by both Fairfax’s Mount Vernon High School and Thomas Jefferson High School, according to the Washington Post’s Reliable Source. “D.C. prep school St. Albans got a call, but producers wanted to film at a time when students weren’t available. A few Montgomery County schools had healthy debates about whether to welcome the cameras, but ultimately turned them away,” according to the paper.

The problem is that parents and principals are too reality TV savvy; they realize they’ll probably get screwed over by the production. Bethesda-Chevy Chase principal Sean Bulson said, “They really promoted themselves as being interested in what was going on with kids and in their desire to be responsible documentarians.” Still, parents are “very cautious and very skeptical,” he said, and thus “he decided film crews would be too disruptive,” according to the Post.

Another principal “doubted producers could find enough natural drama in his Walter Johnson High School races to fill six 30-minute episodes, [while] Other officials fretted that teen losers might be devastated seeing their disappointments aired on basic cable.”

But They’re Aces on Getting Out the Youth Vote! [Washington Post]

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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, 36, 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.