'Real World/Road Rules Challenge' looking to film in Newport, RI starting June 27th
By Reality TV World staff, 06/07/2003
The Providence Journal is reporting that MTV and Bunim/Murray Productions are hoping to film the latest edition of their "The Real World/Road Rules Challenge" series in Newport, Rhode Island starting on June 27th. Filming would last about a month with the series tentatively set to premiere on MTV on September 22nd. As in previous editions, the program would feature 28 former cast members from two MTV programs, "The Real World" and "Road Rules," competing in a series of sports and endurance events. MTV staffers, who are already in Newport, have been scouting out spots for the show's competitions, including Newport Harbor, Fort Adams, and Navy facilities. The winner will take home $300,000.
The producers have identified a 7,373 square foot, 11 bedroom, 6.5 bathroom mansion known as "Ivy Tower," (shown at right) located at 533 Bellevue Ave., as the cast home for the filming. The possibility of an MTV show filmed on Bellevue Avenue has raised local some zoning questions. Plans for the show, for example, call for a new swimming pool on the estate, which would be filled in when the crews leave.
However, unlike the reaction that Bunim/Murray is currently receiving in Chicago over it's upcoming "Starting Over" series, Newport reaction seems quite positive. Newport Mayor Richard C. Sardella said he plans to introduce a special-use permit at a City Council meeting Wednesday night that would allow MTV to go ahead with its plans. Sardella said the city issued a similar permit when the movie "True Lies" was made in Newport in 1994. "If they were proposing to come in for a year and put an amusement park on Bellevue Avenue, it would be one thing," Sardella said. "This is a temporary situation."
Julie Pizzi, co-executive producer of the show, said she met with several members of the Newport City Council yesterday to explain MTV's plans. Pizzi is a native of West Warwick. "I'm from Rhode Island, so I'm very interested in making the show here," Pizzi said. "We were looking for a castle-like house, and we found just what we needed. Newport is a fascinating city; I just hope we can work everything out."