Real World 20′s search for cast with goals hasn’t affected applications; casting extended

Damon Furberg, The Real World‘s supervising casting director, told reality blurred exclusively that the show’s search for people with actual goals for its 20th season hasn’t significantly changed the applications they’re receiving. “To be totally honest with you, I don’t necessarily feel like we’re getting a totally different crowd of people than we ever have,” he said.

The casting notice specifically mentions that they want those who are “aspiring actors,” in addition to people with career aspirations outside of Hollywood, and Furberg says that the show “already had a lot of people who already had entertainment industry goals. It’s sort of a double-edged sword–that’s not all we’re looking for, and we’re definitely trying to avoid casting people who are just looking at this show as a big resume for themselves.”

Producers have extended the show’s casting deadline and added additional open calls. The show is casting Saturday in Boston, Columbus, and Baton Rouge, and next week in Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Gainesville, and mailed-in applications are now due Monday.

The extended deadline has nothing to do with the search for people with goals. Instead, the show sets “rolling deadlines so we don’t get a deluge of stuff,” and says “we’ll usually extend the deadline a couple of times” and have deadlines “earlier than we actually need,” he said. Still, the show is “casting people a little bit earlier” this year in order to finish before college lets out. He says they typically “lock a cast right before production is going to start,” but “we sort of had to start earlier because” the show searches for cast members ages 18 to 24 and “most of those people, they’re in college.”

I also asked him about two rumors: First, that the 20th season of the show would be its last. “I expect that it’ll be renewed, [although] I have no real insight or knowledge about that. To my knowledge, the show is doing really well; it’s doing as well as it always has. … It’s hard for me to imagine that they’re ever going to do away with it.”

I’ve also heard that the show may have viewers select one of the seven cast members, but Furberg said “I haven’t heard anything about that.”

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.