The Real World goes to Austin
NEW YORK (AP) -- Dude! MTV's "The Real World" is headed to Austin, Texas.
"We've been thinking about Austin for a long time," co-creator and executive producer Jon Murray told The Associated Press Wednesday. "It's a great college town. It's a great music town. It's just a really young place. People go to college there and just don't want to leave."
The show brings together seven strangers between the ages of 18 and 24 to live in a swanky loft or house and films them around the clock, at home and on the town.
The 16th season's seven cast members will start getting real in the Lone Star state early next year. The 24 episodes will begin airing in June.
Murray said Austin has long topped his list of places to strand the strangers. Other contenders included Washington, Atlanta, Denver, "somewhere in Montana" and Sydney, Australia.
"Austin has a small-town feel, but it has a lot of things going for it in terms of diversity and entertainment that make it feel metropolitan," Murray said.
Mayor Will Wynn said he's been "sworn to secrecy" about "The Real World" address.
"They were excited about coming to Austin and asked my help in understanding a little more about the city," Wynn said.
Murray also wouldn't say where the house is, and he was tightlipped on the identities of the seven strangers, though he said his casting staff did "a bit of an outreach to people returning from Iraq."
"We always look for a diverse cast," Murray told the AP. "The idea of someone who was in Iraq, well, that would certainly meet that criteria. Ultimately, we choose from people who apply."
Murray promised "The Real World" homestead in Austin would be just as unique and palatial as the pier in Seattle, the loft in New York, the mansion in New Orleans and the former bank in Philadelphia, the location of the latest season. There will be a hot tub, some antiques and maybe even some neon or cowboy kitsch from local stores. But don't expect a horse.
"In the past 16 seasons, the cast haven't done a good job taking care of fish so I don't know about a horse," said Murray.