The Real World’s 15th anniversary is today

Today is the 15th anniversary of the debut of MTV’s The Real World, as the Real World/Road Rules Blog reminds us.

In 15 years, since May 21, 1992, The Real World has aired 18 seasons–only a little over one per year. The 19th season is in production, the 20th is casting, and MTV is about to air a mini-season that’s the first-ever extended reunion of a cast.

While I didn’t really start watching until season two, I was 14 when the New York season debuted, which makes me feel very old and yet doesn’t seem like that much time–especially since one week from Thursday is the seventh anniversary of Survivor‘s debut.

I’d wish the show another 15 years, but honestly, as the most recent season proved, the show seems to have jumped the shark–or perhaps it’s just now outside of my definition of entertainment. In any case, I wouldn’t miss it if it were cancelled tomorrow. But we do have the show to thank for every show that followed it, and for proving that real people’s lives can be as entertaining, if not more so, than fictional creations.

Frankie leads Big Brother's parade of delusion

Frankie on Big Brother

Heading into the finale, the delusion continues, with a re-appearance by evicted Frankie.

Related: The unwatchable cast of Fox's Utopia keeps yelling and screaming.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.