‘The Real World’ auditions in Atlanta December 1 at Blake’s

Casting for 33rd season of a show moving to Facebook Watch

Originally posted Thursday, November 29, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

“The Real World” will forever be known as the original reality show that spawned a million copycats, from ‘The Surreal Life” to “The Bad Girls Club” to “Jersey Shore” to “Floribama Shore.”

Amazingly, the show lasted 25 years on MTV over 32 seasons until 2017. Now, MTV and the production company Bunim/Murray last month announced a 33rd season - but on Facebook Watch globally.

They are also back in Atlanta hunting for cast members to live in a house with six strangers for two months. You can try out this Saturday at Blake's on the Park from 10 to 5 p.m.. The age limit used to be fairly narrow: typically ages 21 to 25, folks who are just starting to figure out their lives. (You can fill out an application here.)

But this year, the show has expanded the age range significantly to 21 to 34.

"People are Peter Panning,"  said Shannon McCarty, supervising casting director at Bunim/Murray Productions. She is in her 10th season casting for this show and 16th year casting in reality TV. (Her first show? "The Apprentice.") "I also think it's an exciting opportunity to see someone's evolution. People can be mature at 19. They can be immature at 45. You might be getting someone who divorced and is in a new stage in their life."

The show is clearly seeking gay and transgender members for the house by the fact it’s doing the auditions at a gay bar in Midtown Atlanta.

“Real World” started out as a glorious social experiment, placing seven disparate people in a house and see how things shake out. Or as the slogan said, the drama came from “when people stop being polite and start getting real.”

McCarty loved the show going back to the 1990s and even tried out for the show once herself. Her problem: she was too boring and unable to create a great story about herself. But she found talking to other contestants far more interesting. This led her into casting.

The art of casting has not changed over the years, she said. She still wants people who are willing to be authentic and vulnerable, not folks who perhaps try to fit into an archetype they’ve seen on the show.

McCarty said she is now meeting young people who have never watched the show and only knew about it from their parents. Indeed, the oldest alum from the show are now in their 50s.  There's a Congressman (Sean Duffy from "Real World: Boston"), a WWE wrestler (Mike "The Miz" Mizanin from "Real World: Back to New York") and several actors like Jamie Chung ("Real World: San Diego") and Jacinda Barrett ("Real World: London").

Having “Real World” on Facebook Watch, she added, “feels like a relaunch. It feels new and fresh.”

The 33rd season location has not been announced. She said filming is tentatively slated for the spring of 2019.

Over the first 32 seasons, MTV never chose Atlanta as a home base. In an interview I did in 2013, "Real World" co creator Jonathan Murray told me "it's a perennial runner up. We talk about it. One time, we thought it was too spread out. It felt like a lot of little villages. We weren't sure where to put the show. We did consider Athens, too.." It's still a possibility, Murray added at the time. "Maybe it's time has come."