The Newport Daily News is reporting that "unresolved zoning issues" (and apparently not neighborhood protests) have forced MTV to pull the plug on their previously announced plans to film the upcoming edition of "The Real World/Road Rules Challenge" in Newport. Newport mayor Richard C. Sardella announced that MTV was pulling out of Newport after Wednesday night's Newport City Council meeting. "Newport is out of the question for this year," Sardella said. "I'm disappointed. I think it's something the city will miss." "We were looking at (Newport) locations probably up to an hour ago," Julie Pizzi, co-executive producer for Bunim-Murray Productions, said about 9PM Wednesday. The show is scheduled to begin shooting its seventh season June 27.

According to Pizzi, producers will instead now look at alternate state-side locations and still believe they can adhere to the original six-week-long production schedule, but she could not name the new location until arrangements are final in another few days. The tentative new location is a coastal community in the United States, but not on the Eastern Seaboard, she said. Pizzi, a Rhode Island native, said Rhode Island is a great location with much to offer and that she would love to bring the show there someday. "We've spent a good amount of time here, and we were really looking to do it in Newport because of what it has to offer," Pizzi said. "We pretty much just ran around like crazy for the last two days."

Accoding to the report, in addition to the Ivy Mansion housing plan that we reported on previously, the producers also investigated several other local options such as housing the cast in a dormitory on Salve Regina University's oceanside campus and constructing an enormous challenge pool at the Newport Naval Station. Researching for the new season reportedly began about 21/2 months ago. Sardella said he learned about the show's choice of Newport only eight days ago.

Discuss this news story on our message boards