Real World back to San Francisco, but MTV may be ready to cancel the series

The Real World will return to San Francisco for its 29th season, but there are signs that MTV may be over the show.

The house will be located at 1244 Sutter Street in what is “the former home of the Avalon ballroom which hosted headliners such as The Doors, Janis Joplin and The Grateful Dead,” according to Vevmo, which unearthed the location and has documents and details.

Variety confirmed the location with MTV and got a press release quote out of executive producer Jon Murray, who said, “San Francisco is the location of one of our most memorable seasons of The Real World. The city has always been a great place for young people to explore who they are and what they want to do with their lives.”

Since the young people he casts now just seem to want to get drunk and beat the shit out of each other with no consequences at all from producers, I’m sure San Francisco will be little more than a backdrop for whatever drunken fight sex the new cast will have.

Even though MTV renewed the series, The Real World may be approaching its end.

Variety noted that this “will be a make-or-break season for the series.” And MTV President Susanne Daniels told The Hollywood Reporter that the show’s low ratings lead her to ask, “Where does The Real World go? Can I evolve the Real World at this point? The ratings are a little soft on that show. Is it a new show and what is that new show? What is the next evolution of Real World? That felt like breakthrough television when it started, much like Cops did. Those are the beginnings of brand new genres on TV.”

Since the return to San Francisco will be the show’s 29th season, here’s a wild proposal: Make season 30 the final season, return to New York, and reunite the original cast.

Sure, those original seven strangers are now far outside MTV’s target demographic (12 to 24 year olds, ugh), but if anything, doing that may bring back viewers who long ago abandoned the series. At the very least, it’d be a refreshing change, and it’d be fascinating to see who they are and how they interact more than 20 years later.

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.