THE ‘BIG EASY’ GETS A TASTE OF MTV AS THE NETWORK PREMIERES “THE REAL WORLD: NEW ORLEANS” ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30 AT 10PM ET/PT
Los Angeles, CA (June 17, 2010) – MTV heads back to the Bayou in the height of Mardi Gras madness and Super Bowl mania, with the network premiere of “The Real World: New Orleans” on Wednesday, June 30 at 10PM ET/PT. Once again, eight diverse strangers come together in the “Who Dat Nation” to experience life, love, and the 24-hour party that is New Orleans, while also discovering a passion for the city’s legendary food and music. The premiere episode opens up with the roommates in the middle of The French Quarter, where they quickly find out first impressions are not always what they seem.
This season, “The Real World” goes inside the beautiful, resilient city of New Orleans and enters territory that the franchise has never embarked on before including a housemate recovering from an addiction to pain killers, a Muslim American liberal away from her family for the first time, a and a Mississippi party girl haunted by an abusive past relationship. From walking around on Bourbon Street to living in an over the top funky Southern style home, the roommates’ journey is not all about chasing beads and drinking Hurricanes.
“It’s been 10 years since ‘The Real World’ first visited the great city of New Orleans and I’m happy to report that the city, known for its tolerance and party spirit, is still an ideal location for a show about a group of young people figuring themselves out,” said Creator and Executive Producer Jon Murray.
Meet the New Orleans cast:
Knight, Age: 23 – Kenosha, WI
Knight is a 23-year-old Wisconsin native who has lived and breathed hockey for as long as he can remember. Recently his life was turned upside down after a severe shoulder injury that cost him his athletic/academic scholarship at Arizona State University and left him unable to play the sport. During recovery he became addicted to painkillers, and now everyday is a battle to remain clean. Reclaiming his life, Knight is currently teaching hockey clinics to children and pursuing his marketing degree at the University of Milwaukee. Although he’s known for his promiscuity, he’s not afraid to show his romantic side when he finds the right girl, which just might happen to be a fellow roommate. Knight is most excited to move to New Orleans so that he can get away from all the negative influences in his life back home. But will the city, best known for its twenty-four hour party life, distract Knight from all of the positive progress he has made?
Jemmye Age: 21 – Starkville, MS
As vocal supporter of gay marriage and legalization of marijuana, Jemmye doesn’t necessarily come off as someone from a conservative Mississippi hometown. She enjoys casual sex with no commitment, and she has a preference for black men (until she meets fellow roommate, Knight), which is about as scandalous as it gets in her heavily Southern Baptist community. Jemmye is recently free of an abusive relationship. Her mother Alice is her best friend and they have no secrets from one another, to the point where Jemmye frequently discusses the intimate details of her sex life with her mom. But one secret she hasn’t told her mom is about the past relationship that haunts her to this day. For most people, Mardi Gras is a one day affair, but something tells us Jemmye will be collecting beads all season.
Eric Age: 24 – Arlington, VA
It’s not often that you meet a Real World roommate who’s a stand-up comic AND holds a job at the State Department, traveling the globe briefing foreign service personnel on American policy. Far from Mr. Serious, Eric’s true passion is comedy, and he’s already made significant progress in his career, performing regularly and winning several competitions. Eric, known for his dreamy eyes is a handsome ladies’ man and has perfected the art of juggling various girls at one time. We’re pretty sure Eric will be getting into a bit more than just Hurricane Katrina relief.
Sahar Age: 21 – Dearborn, MI
Sahar grew up in a conservative Arab community in Dearborn, MI. It would be easy to assume that because of that she’s a submissive, conservative girl. But that would not be the case. She’s a strong-willed, liberal Muslim who is not easily intimidated. Expect her to speak her mind. Sahar was fortunate to have parents who allowed her a bit more space to be herself; however, there are still things that she was forced to hide from her community, like her virginity… or lack thereof. Although in a vague long-distance relationship, Sahar is used to turning heads and is constantly crushing on boys– but just wait until she meets roommate Eric! A budding singer/songwriter, Sahar looks to explore more of this career in New Orleans, no matter what anyone in her conservative community thinks.
Ashlee Age: 22 – South Boston, MA
Coming to New Orleans fresh out of a rocky break up, Ashlee is anxious to explore new opportunities. That could include pursuing her ultimate dream job of being a sideline sports reporter. Or it might just mean partying hard in the Big Easy. Ashlee grew up in a small New Jersey suburb, where it was easy for her to cement herself as the top athlete of her high school. She continued her successful athletic career at Northeastern University, where she was the captain of her Division 1 basketball team—a position she likened to being a “babysitter.” The fact that she’s an athlete doesn’t make Ashlee a tomboy; she can transform into a girly girl at the drop of a hat. And yes, her lips ARE natural. She may seem like the perfect roommate in New Orleans, but one thing is for sure: Ashlee is a bit of an instigator, and is no stranger to stirring the pot.
Preston Age: 22 – Boston, MA
Preston’s first childhood memory is of crying in the back seat of the car while his mother went to score crack. Needless to say, his family life was anything but ideal. When he was 17, his mother essentially abandoned him, leaving Preston to fend for himself. Despite a rough childhood, he’s somehow managed to grow into a carefree individual who walks to the beat of his own drum. As a proud, young, gay, black man, Preston strives to be the center of attention. He has no filter, but what he does have is a bitchy side, which he’s not afraid to show. In fact, he encourages confrontation, happily putting you in your place if need be. But be careful. If you push Preston too far, something is bound to get thrown in the toilet. Known for his outlandish antics and urge to mingle, we’re sure Preston will be getting his fill on the New Orleans strip.
McKenzie Age: 21 – Jupiter, FL
Twenty-one-year old McKenzie is a down to earth sorority girl attending the University of Central Florida and majoring in psychology. Raised on Florida’s beaches with her three siblings and happily married parents, McKenzie’s childhood was pretty idyllic. As a practicing Catholic who experiences her beliefs on a deep and emotional level, McKenzie is nonetheless quite liberal. Just when you think she’s the picture-perfect example of a good girl, she whisks you away to the bar to pound shots — all the while playing up her innocent side. But don’t let that image fool you; she knows exactly how to use her sexuality to get what she wants. Known to party a little too hard, she often finds herself in very compromising situations totally unaware of what a flirt she is. No stranger to philanthropy, New Orleans is the perfect setting for this natural born leader looking to make a difference in the world. Hurricane Relief by day and pounding hurricane cocktails by night…sounds like McKenzie will fit right in.
Ryan Age: 21 Tempe, AZ
One part: unpredictable, two parts: ADHD and OCD, twenty-one year old Ryan is one of the most bizarre roommates in New Orleans. Whether it’s his fascination with cold ears or his tendency to chase his roommates around the house naked, Ryan’s high energy makes him the life of the party and chief instigator of the group. A legit hairstylist, Ryan is never far from his shears and blow dryer and is known to blow himself dry rather than use a towel. He ultimately wants to cut hair for rock stars and celebrities. Entirely unconcerned with how others perceive him, Ryan is in touch with his emotions and feminine side. He is charismatic, creative, and fun loving, and he wears his heart on his sleeve. This after battling with a variety issues, including both a rocky relationship with his father and depression. Extremely opinionated and unafraid to fight for the last word, Ryan will no doubt be at the front and center of any controversy in New Orleans.
“The Real World” was created for MTV by Jon Murray and Mary-Ellis Bunim of Bunim-Murray Productions. Jon Murray and Jim Johnston serve as Executive Producers of “The Real World: New Orleans.” Jacquelyn French is the MTV executive overseeing the project.
*Here are the preview clips from the premiere episode – including the first fight of the season!:
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About Bunim-Murray Productions
Bunim-Murray Productions is the leading producer of innovative entertainment content. The company is widely credited with creating the reality television genre with its hit series The Real World (now in pre-production on 25th season on MTV). BMP continued to innovate with the first reality game show, Road Rules, in 1995, the first reality sitcom, The Simple Life, in 2003, and the first reality soap opera, Starting Over, in 2003. Bunim-Murray’s current programming includes The Bad Girls Club and Love Games: Bad Girls Need Love Too (Oxygen), Keeping up with the Kardashians, Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami and The Spin Crowd (E!), The Real World/Road Rules Challenge (20th season on MTV), and Project Runway and the Models of the Runway (Lifetime). Launched in 2006 to better reach the Digital Generation, Bunim-Murray’s M Theory Entertainment is a spin-off entity focusing on new media initiatives. In 2007 Bunim-Murray launched BMP Films, a film division, which premiered its first documentary, Autism: The Musical, at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, and its first scripted film Pedro, at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, which made its television debut on April 1 on MTV. Autism: The Musical premiered to rave reviews on HBO on March 25, 2008 and won 2 Primetime EMMY awards. The company’s second documentary, Shadow Billionaire, premiered at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. In 2008 Bunim-Murray Productions formed M Music, a music management division, with its first band, A Cursive Memory, signing with Vagrant Records. Bunim-Murray Productions is based in Van Nuys, CA. It was founded in 1987 by Jonathan Murray and the late Mary-Ellis Bunim and joined Banijay Entertainment in 2010.