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Middletown, RI tables 'Real World/Road Roads Challenge' filming decision until Monday

By Reality TV World staff, 06/25/2003 

According to the Providence Journal, potential neighbors of Bunim/Murray's new proposed Middletown, Rhode Island "Real World/Road Rules Challenge" mansion location came out in force at yesterday's special Middletown town council meeting, voicing their (in some cases ridiculous) concerns for almost three hours. As a result, the council delayed their decision on giving MTV final approval to film in the ritzy neighborhood until Monday's normally scheduled council session.

Town Council President William J. Flynn said the council would discuss the matter with lawyers and look into how to ensure that the MTV project would not pose a safety threat or disturb the neighbors, including the possibility of making the media company post a bond. Julie Pizzi, the show's producer, would not say how the delay would affect MTV's desire to use Middletown for its reality show, in which 28 cast members would live in a house and compete against each other. "We just need to have a meeting," Pizzi said after the meeting. "We have to reevaluate the situation." When asked whether she normally encountered such strong local resistance, she answered, "No, we don't."

Not everyone at the meeting was against MTV's proposal. Steve Mathias, a Newport resident, said the whole island stood to gain from the show. "All small-business owners I've spoken to are in favor of this," he said. Debbie Girard, Middletown resident and special events and film development coordinator for the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, said if the MTV project is defeated, it will discourage programs from Discovery Channel or the History Channel from coming to the area. "[We would be] sending out a signal that we are not a film-friendly county," Girard said. ...gee, you think?

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