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'The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet' to premiere on September 29


By Reality TV World staff, 09/15/2003 

MTV has announced that this year's edition of the annual The Real World / Road Rules Challenge, entitled The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet, will premiere Monday, September 29 at 10PM ET.

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The series fills the 10PM ET timeslot that Road Rules, which airs its season finale on Monday, September 15, has been airing. The week prior to the program's premiere (Monday, September 22 at 10PM ET) the network will air a "launch special" entitled Showdown at the Real World/Road Rules Corral.

As previously reported, the production of this season's challenge encountered delays this past summer when two different Rhode Island towns balked at allowing the show to film in their areas. The Bunim-Murray production company scrambled to find alternative sites and eventually settled on the former Rocky Mountain Gold Rush town of Telluride, Colorado and the nearby town of Mountain Village. At an altitude of 8,700 feet, Telluride features spectacular mountain views, historic buildings, and surrounding waterfalls and ski slopes. It's also reputed to be the place that Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank.

Unlike the Rhode Island towns, Telluride, according to a recent Providence Journal article, welcomed the production with open arms. "It was a godsend," Telluride Town Council member Mark Buschib told the Journal of the six-week-long shoot that began July 15. "It was certainly a windfall for us." "It went really well," show producer Julie Pizzi told the paper. "We showed up [in Telluride], and got everything done really quickly." According to Pizzi, the neighbors of the large duplex on Country Club Drive in Mountain Village that housed the cast members even invited the cast members over for dinner and "Sex In The City" viewings.

The Journal also noted however that the production was not without problems. Local police reported an increase in medical calls due to cast members who suffered various cuts and bruises, as well as a case of hypothermia brought on by a challenge in a nonheated pool. There were also some noise complaints and the citing of a person associated with the show for underage drinking. And at the end of July, a fight broke out between a "handful" of locals and some MTV crew members outside a bar. No one was hurt, and no charges were filed.

"They came, they went, they did their thing. They brought money into the community," said Neil Hastings, director of sales in the Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We were happy to have them and we would do it again."

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