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[via press release from MTV]

MTV Networks' Music Group Allows Viewers to Cast Themselves in Future Seasons of MTV's 'The Real World' and VH1's 'I Love New York'

RealWorldCasting.com and ILoveNewYork2.com Provide Paths for Viewers to Appear on TV

NEW YORK, May 1 -- Giving viewers paths to appear on TV, MTV Networks' Music Group is unveiling sites where fans can submit themselves for consideration as cast members on such popular shows as MTV's "The Real World" and VH1's "I Love New York." The sites add entirely new dimensions to the way in which viewers interact with their favorite programs by allowing them to visualize the makeup of the shows' casts and also potentially become cast members themselves. "The Real World" and "I Love New York" sites mark the first time television shows will be democratically influenced by communities of viewers prior to their on-air premieres and underscore MTVN's commitment to making viewers part of the fabric of its programs.

Beginning tomorrow, viewers can go to "The Real World" Casting site at http://www.RealWorldCasting.com to try for one coveted spot in the house or snag a seat on the casting director's couch to judge who should make it on-air. Fans of VH1's "I Love New York" can now go to http://www.ILoveNewYork2.com to submit themselves for consideration and decide who gets to appear on the second season of "I Love New York." The "Real World" and "I Love New York" casting sites are just two of several "hyper-programmed" vertical channels that MTV Networks' Music & Logo group has introduced in recent months, including: BestWeekEver.tv, the companion vertical to VH1's 'Best Week Ever' franchise; WebJunk.tv, an extension of VH1's "Web Junk 20" program and Acceptable.TV, the site accompanying the viewer-interactive VH1 series of the same name; and Logo's recently acquired AfterEllen.com, AfterElton.com and 365Gay.com sites.

"'The Real World' and 'I Love New York' sites introduce new dimensions to the way we program our popular franchises and become doors through which our viewers can step into the TV," said Brian Graden, President of Entertainment for MTV Networks' Music Group. "These sites represent new models of engagement for our audience, giving disaggregated fans the power to come together as one community to affect the way we program our channels and our shows."

The Real World

"The Real World" Casting site is designed to be a highly immersive experience that engages viewers on multiple levels, from castee to judge. Viewers who join the community can register to be considered for the show or serve as a judge to help determine who makes the cut. In either instance, they are connected to the larger community of "The Real World" fans who share similar passions and who want to stay connected to -- and help influence -- the story arcs, characters and themes they see on-air.

Viewers who throw their hat into the ring for the cast of Season 20 must submit a 90-second 'confessional' video detailing their passions, life experiences and phobias. Viewers who elect to serve as judges can climb a virtual casting hierarchy to serve in any number of roles, from Head of Casting, to VP of Casting, Casting Director, Casting Associate, Casting Intern or just plain Voter. The hierarchy is determined by the number of votes a registered user casts; the more one votes, the higher on the ladder they climb. But it's not just castees who make it onto MTV. Even judges may appear throughout the season to discuss whom they voted for and why.

The current season of "The Real World: Denver" ranks #1 in its time period (10-10:30 p.m. Wednesdays) among P12-34 versus cable competition and has reached 91.4 million total viewers season-to-date. The season finale of "The Real World: Denver" is May 16. The next season -- season 19 -- will take place in Sydney, Australia and is currently in production. The viewers chosen through the RealWorldCasting.com site will be members of "The Real World" season 20.

"The Real World: Denver" is a massive hit on mtv.com as well. In the month of April, viewers streamed 4 million full episodes, sneak peaks and after shows, making "The Real World: Denver" the most-watched show at mtv.com. And since the show's on-air premiere in November, "The Real World: Denver" has delivered nearly 24 million streams, consistently making it one of the most- viewed TV shows on mtv.com. "The Real World" was created for MTV by Jon Murray and Mary Ellis-Bunim of Bunim-Murray Productions, and Jon Murray and Jim Johnston serve as Executive Producers. Drew Tappon and Jacquelyn French are Executives Producers for MTV.

I Love New York 2

Five contestants in "New York's" next quest for love will be determined through user participation at ILoveNewYork2.com. The "I Love New York" casting site works in two ways: fans can submit themselves for consideration in the next installment of the series and they can vote to determine who makes the cut in the next competition for "New York's" heart. Online casting will be determined during three rounds of voting between April 29 and June 15. Round one submissions must include an uploaded video profile, biographical information and photos. After round one, the 60 would-be suitors with the most votes will move on to the next round. Details and requirements for each round of voting can be found at ILoveNewYork2.com.

The recent "I Love New York Reunion Special," resonated with viewers across broadband, mobile and linear platforms. VH1's "I Love New York Reunion Special" drew 5 million total viewers, making it the most watched episode of the season and catapulted VH1 to its third highest-rated day ever in the network's history. The series was also the second highest-rated season of any VH1 series ever. Close to 1 million video streams on VSPOT were logged in the 24 hours following the on-air special. Additionally, more than 50,000 mobile text messages were received that day by viewers responding to a dynamic on-air VH1 Mobile poll question related to the show. The series was also the most watched show on VH1 Mobile throughout its season.

The second season of "I Love New York" is scheduled to premiere later this year.

VH1's "I Love New York" is created and executive produced by Mark Cronin and Cris Abrego for Mindless Entertainment and 51 Pictures, who also produce the record-breaking hits "Flavor of Love," "The Surreal Life" and "My Fair Brady." Jeff Olde, Jill Holmes, Kristen Kelly and Michael Hirschorn oversee the series for VH1.

The casting sites complement the online hubs for both shows at MTV.com and VH1.com, which deliver full episodes, exclusive after shows, sneak peaks and cast photos.

MTV Networks

MTV Networks' goal is to be the premier portfolio of targeted Global Entertainment Communities. Our brands engage, empower and connect diverse audiences with culturally relevant creative content and unique experiences across every platform.

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 130 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services - MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 200 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.

SOURCE MTV Networks Music Group
http://www.mtv.com http://www.RealWorldCasting.com

  [may 2007]  


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