MTV reups ‘Real’ skeins

Shows draw key demo of 12-34

HOLLYWOOD — MTV has ordered two more seasons of “The Real World” and offshoot “Real World/Road Rules Challenge.”

Pickups mark rounds 14 and 15 for “The Real World,” the granddaddy of the reality genre. The latest seasons, which will continue the tradition of bringing seven strangers together to live in a house and have their lives taped 24/7, are slated to preem in early and late 2004, respectively. Locations will be announced at a later date; San Diego is believed to be under consideration. The show’s 13th installment is wrapping up lensing this month in Paris and will debut June 3 at 10 p.m.

Ratings on the rise

Though the show has been on the air for more than a decade, season 12, which taped at the Palms Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, was the most watched among MTV’s core persons 12-34 demographic since the first show’s run in 1992.

Tuesday’s pickup marks the seventh and eighth seasons of “Challenge,” one of 2002’s top five series on cable in the persons 12-34 demo. Series features former cast members of “The Real World” and “Road Rules” competing for a handsome grand prize. Past seasons have been set in Mexico and Jamaica; new ones are skedded to air in September and January.

Both series are produced by Bunim/Murray Prods.

‘Finger on the pulse’

“The ongoing success of ‘The Real World’ and ‘Challenge’ is a testament to the fact that Bunim/Murray continues to have its finger on the pulse of young viewers,” said John Miller, MTV’s executive VP of original series and animation. “Being able to connect with our audience through this kind of dynamic, exciting programming is as important to us as ever, and we’re very happy to move forward.”