Mary-Ellis Bunim and
Claim to Fame: Co-produced MTV's "Real World"
Bunim and Murray first collaborated on the dramatic detective series "Crime Diaries" and a six-part reality series called "American Families" for Fox, which presented footage on the daily lives of various families After hearing of MTV's plan to launch a soap opera, they pitched "Real World" as a way of combining soap and documentary elements Launched in 1992, it became a smash with the all-important 18-34 demographic...
"Real World" is now in its ninth season It is MTV's top-rated program Bunim-Murray Productions was just signed to produce two more seasons A "Real World" spin-off on MTV, "Road Rules," follows youths riding in a Winnebago around the U.S Also produces "Making the Band" on ABC, which documents the real-life trials and tribulations of the young men in the boy band O-Town The show debuted in March and has been picked up for another season
Before teaming up with Murray, Bunim produced over 2,500 hours of soap opera television for the shows "Search for Tomorrow," "As the World Turns," "Santa Barbara" and "Loving" Later she signed on with New World Entertainment, where she developed children's programming, network daytime, and late-night television
A University of Missouri School of Journalism graduate in 1977, Murray worked for six years in such places as Green Bay, Atlanta and Rochester on local television news, programming, and station management Later worked at HRP Inc., a national television sales representative firm helping local stations to buy and schedule their syndicated programming.
Eco-Challenge Lifestyles Inc.
Claim to Fame: Executive producer of "Survivor"
Former member of British Army's Parachute Regiment and certified scuba diver and skydiver (among other "outdoorsy") credentials Founded production company Eco-Challenge Lifestyles in 1992, which has produced seven "multi-sport endurance" events sporting challenges made for television
In competitions, tries to focus on responsible land use and environmental awareness Produced five-hour show staged in various exotic locations for Discovery Channel... That production won a Sports Category Emmy Award in 1996 Won another Emmy in Special Achievement category in 1998 Formed Eco-Challenge Youth Foundation in conjunction with Los Angeles Unified School District... Program sends city kids to rural locations to participate in sports challenges
"Survivor" concept was first produced in Britain 10 years ago by Charlie Parsons, a friend of Burnett's He pitched the idea to CBS, and the network bit His interest in "compassionate team dynamics" attracted him to the idea Said on "Larry King Live" that the program is not "reality" but "dramality" a mixture of drama and reality. The outcome, Burnett says, is real, but the setting contrived Even though there's no script, he thinks the format is storytelling in its purest form Also told King that what happened on "Survivor" is a microcosm of the American workplace where "people want to get ahead and will do whatever it takes."
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