More people watch reality TV in Columbus and Cincinnati, which hosted 50 series in two years

Two cities in Ohio, Cincinnati and Columbus, have more reality TV viewers than any other cities in the country, and Cincinnati has hosted 50 reality TV productions in just over two years, including five visits by Undercover Boss (a future episode follows Mark Mallory) and three by Bridezillas, plus the MTV series Taking the Stage, which was set in the city. In addition, Survivor‘s top market was Cincinnati for years, and it was #1 for The Amazing Race during the family edition, probably because the Linz family is from the area.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that “Scarborough Research says Cincinnati and Columbus are tied as the top reality markets, with 32 percent of adults saying they typically watch reality adventure, talent or dating shows,” “up from 29 percent in 2005, when Cincinnati was second to Providence, R.I. The national average is 27 percent.”

Among the reality TV shows to film in Cincinnati (which the paper says is partly due to the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission’s efforts in promoting it to producers; see a full list of shows in the sidebar) was Undercover Boss, which followed the city’s mayor.

Producers asked aides to sign non-disclosure agreements and filmed the reveal in city council chambers, and at least two city council members are angry. Chris Bortz told the paper that “he might put forth a motion to sue the production company to make sure the show doesn’t air, saying Mallory was simply ‘advancing a personal agenda.'”

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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.