In VH1’s “celebreality” heyday, audiences couldn’t get enough of shows like Flavor of Love, Celebrity Rehab, and The Surreal Life. They were so popular that each of those shows had at least one spinoff featuring the breakout stars that appeared on them. Eventually, the term celebreality, meaning reality programs that featured celebrities, often past the prime of their careers, or people who made a career out of the reality TV circuit, and the popularity of those shows waned. But the network is banking on fans’ nostalgia for 15 years ago as they’ve just announced that The Surreal Life is coming back for an all-new season.
The upcoming seventh season of The Surreal Life will feature a diverse blend of celebrities and pop culture personalities. Appearing on the new season are musician August Alsina, wrestler CJ Perry, former basketball player Dennis Rodman, actor Frankie Muniz, actress and comedian Kim Coles, makeup artist and YouTube personality Manny MUA, singer and reality star Tamar Braxton, and adult film star Stormy Daniels.
MTV Networks’ Nina Diaz explains, “The Surreal Life is known for bringing together some of the biggest names in pop culture and creating many unforgettable moments in reality television. We are excited to see how this stellar celebrity cast will make captivating television for audiences everywhere.”
You could argue that the third season of The Surreal Life, which featured Flavor Flav and Brigitte Nielsen and ultimately led to the creation of spinoffs like Strange Love, Flavor of Love, and I Love New York, shaped all of VH1’s early-aughts programming. Now that two of the network’s biggest ratings draws, Love & Hip Hop and Basketball Wives, are in their tenth and eleventh years of filming, respectively, one could assume that the network is hoping that the revival of a franchise like The Surreal Life might lead to fresh programming in the future. The new, “reimagined” version of The Surreal Life will premiere this fall.
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