Making the Band premiered 20 years ago. A look back at the reality TV ‘breakthrough’ – reality blurred



Survivor It was the earthquake that shook open tv and adjusted it without end, when it premiered in the summertime of 2000, ending with an ending that had the second largest television audience of the last decade, solely behind pals.

However earlier than that got here a present that mainly grew to become a crossroads of actuality exhibits: Making the band. Whereas it produced a boy band, O-City, which nonetheless exists at present, the ABC sequence introduced the language of cable tv actuality exhibits to tv and heralded so many exhibits to come back, from American idol to Catwalk Venture to The beginner.

Earlier than Survivor there was Making the Band, and earlier than that …

A complete of two months earlier than Borneo survivor premiered, premiered ABC Making the band. March 24, 2000 was a Friday night time, and the present was a part of ABC's TGIF lineup. However it wasn't a family-oriented sitcom. It was unscripted.

Actuality TV had lastly hit a broadcast community, though MTV had had nice success with The true world, its enormous hit of the 1990s. However the TV broadcast had but to air an episodic, character-driven, unscripted narrative episode.

In the summertime of 1999, Who needs to be a millionaire? awakened the TV broadcast of his single clonepals dream, with Regis Philbin and the present changing into a nationwide phenomenon. A present with actual individuals being themselves was instantly the best rated present on tv.

Whereas it was fueled by human drama, it was basically a sport present.

Months later, on February 15, 2000, 23 million individuals watched a Fox particular by which two strangers, Darva Conger and Rick Rockwell, married after a Miss America-style pageant. Was known as Who needs to marry a billionaire?, and turned a TV second and actual individuals's lives into celeb tabloid meat weeks, particularly after The Smoking Gun released a restraining order that Rockwell had been subjected to years earlier than.

It was the brainchild of Fox government Mike Darnell, who would later launch TV exhibits Island of temptation to American idol, again then he was identified for the allegedly actual, low cost, and highly-rated nutty specials he developed on Fox, together with When animals assault Y Alien Post-mortem: Truth or Fiction.

The present was produced by Mike Fleiss, who later created The Bachelor, and whereas Who needs to marry a billionaire? It was mainly a two hour contest, the 2 exhibits share lots of DNA.

In 2015 Fleiss he said to HuffPostNot many individuals draw that apparent connection, however it's true. I'm inquisitive about learning the grades, and that program [‘Multi-Millionaire’] It was unimaginable. Set the world on hearth. I understand there was an irresponsible high quality within the sense that we basically married strangers. So I stated, "How can I create a present that has the facility of 'Billionaire', however do it in a extra accountable and relatable romantic method?"

However it might take two years earlier than The Bachelor got here to ABC. Making the band It was first, and so early that after I got here again and skim the 2000 studies on the present, nobody known as it a "actuality present."

Some as a tv critic Joyce Millman's review at Living roomHe referred to it as a "actuality sequence", whereas others solely spoke about it as if it had been a documentary. The Orlando Sentinel He known as it "a behind-the-scenes take a look at making a pop group known as O-City."

The creators of the true world convey actuality tv to ABC

Jon Murray
Actual-world creator Jonathan Murray on the Academy of Tv Arts and Sciences Corridor of Fame Ceremony in 2012. (Photograph by Helga Esteb / / Shutterstock)

Making the band was produced by the identical manufacturing firm that gave beginning The true world: Bunim-Murray, and its founders Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray.

The thought for the present originated on MTV, the place Ken Mok, who would later create United States Prime Mannequin Y Robust sufficient– led MTV Productions, and the present was bought to ABC. Bunim-Murray, who had a historical past of profitable actuality exhibits, was employed to provide.

Jon Murray, who had contributed a journalism / documentary fund to his affiliation with Bunim, which got here from cleaning soap operas, instructed me that one of many points of interest of the brand new program was that it was not creating one thing from scratch: the framework, at the very least, already existed .

"Lou Perlman had had nice success with Backstreet [Boys] and ‘NSync, and it appeared to have this components for find out how to create a boy band,” Murray stated. “And he had this operation in Orlando, Transcontinental Information, all the things prepared. As a producer, I’ll Nice, there may be this world that has already been created. It’s an genuine world. And there’s a componentsthere’s a boot camp course of."

Whereas there was a format and competitors, it was nonetheless filmed documentary-style, following individuals as they went by means of the method of being examined and educated to be a part of a boy band. It was extra Actual world what Survivor or American idol.

Casting Making the Band and O-City

Lou Pearlman, O-Town Finalists
Lou Pearlman and the eight finalists on ABC's Making the Band, 5 of whom ultimately fashioned O-City.

Making the band He shortly went by means of the casting course of in his first two half-hour episodes, relegating a lot of the singing and dancing to montages and cut up screens.

However watching these episodes is like seeing a preview of what's to come back within the coming years as actuality tv diversifies. previous to American idol confirmed us strains of individuals ready to audition for a singing competitors, Making the band gave us that. Earlier than we noticed individuals audition in entrance of the judges, or be lower down, there he was on ABC.

Seeing potential contestants or shortened candidates appears regular now, however it was uncommon to see behind the scenes again then.

Was The true world which was a pioneer together with casting as a part of a actuality present. MTV started airing casting specials to preview subsequent season, together with one earlier than Hawaii's actual world The place rejected forged member Colin Mortensen hosted the supporting particular, earlier than producers instructed him on digital camera that he had additionally been forged.

Whereas Lou Pearlman had a components for making a boy band, Bunim-Murray wanted to broadcast a tv present.

"The place he may very well be wanting on the voices, we had been additionally these individuals as their persona, their backstory," Jon Murray instructed me. "How are they going to be attention-grabbing characters? What private story do they create to this? We additionally found that it was essential to have some variety within the forged, each we and ABC thought that was essential. "

There was geographic and racial variety, however not a lot in sexuality. Whereas Actual world he had variety in sexuality: he melted homosexual males, lesbians and bisexual individuals, and he additionally gave tv their first same-sex wedding and the first HIV positive cast memberMaking the band Don’t.

The boy bands had been, after all, very straight: & # 39; NSync had a homosexual member, Lance Bass, though it didn't come out till 2006. Murray stated that, whereas selecting the group that might ultimately change into O-City, "we they had been very open to having somebody from the LGBTQ neighborhood on the present, a homosexual boy. " Whereas he stated there could have been a homosexual or bisexual man within the group of people that had been thought of, "we weren't going to get somebody secure in the event that they hadn't dated but." So I believe we took them for who they stated they had been. "

Through the first episode, a boy group was chosen, after which dropped from 25 semi-finalists to eight finalists to 5 band members: Ashley Parker Angel, Jacob Underwood, Erik-Michael Estrada, Trevor Penick, and Ikaika Kahoano.

Later, in a drama worthy of The true housewivesIkaika dramatically left the present, "known as" to Hawaii by her household; later, he and two of the fellows who had been lower, Bryan Chan and Mike Miller, They formed their own boy band: LMNT.

Though they had been competing to be a part of a boy band and probably worldwide superstars, the boys "weren't drained," Murray stated. "There was an actual honesty and perhaps, alternatively, just a little naive, just a little, you realize, an actual authenticity."

They had been on the present for fame, after all, however as a part of a boy band, not as a tv star.

The insanity of the boy band

Why Making the band be part of the TGIF of ABC? On the time, in 1999 and 2000, "the boy bands had been at their peak," Murray stated, and that was the motivation for the sequence: "to have the ability to go behind the scenes and see a boy band come collectively, and say that. story that might be very interesting to the TGIF viewers. "

"There could be tales of potential romance and issues for the boys as they start to achieve fame," stated Murray. These tales resonated and reached youthful viewers, although not a wider viewers. The second season was taken from ABC and went to MTV.

On the time, EW reported that "averaged simply four.7 million viewers after simply two outings in April (which is why the community shortly pulled it out). That could be a far cry from the practically 7 million who tuned in throughout Season 1." And whereas 7 million could be an enormous viewers at present, again then it wasn't.

Govt producer Ken Mok instructed EW: "The viewers shouldn’t be that good, however it's nonetheless a demographic goal." It has a powerful core of youngsters. "

The kids' consideration to boy bands had an impact on the contestants, Murray stated. "They wished this chance, not not like what they ultimately American idol. They wished this chance to interrupt by means of, and right here was Lou Perlman, who had carried out it so efficiently twice with these two teams: My God, I simply have to point out up and he’s going to take the expertise I’ve, and he’s going to place me with three or 4 different boys and he’s going to mildew me on this phenomenon.. "

Years earlier than NBC The beginner or the emblem RuPaul & # 39; s Drag Race gave all the facility of choice to a single particular person, Making the band He did that, giving Pearlman that energy and making him one of many core forged members.

"He’s an unlikely tv persona. I believe if we had wished to provide you with this present and are available out to decide on the one that was going to place this band collectively, you wouldn't be selecting somebody who in any method resembled or acted like Lou Pearlman. However once more, that was it, ”Murray instructed me.

"He was the kingmaker, he was the one that was going to make the ultimate choice," he added. “I had carried out it efficiently. So there have been many causes to belief his capacity to do this. "

Pearlman died in prison in 2010, convicted of cash laundering and different fees associated to a Ponzi scheme. Murray stated that "by way of his interactions with me and manufacturing, [Pearlman] it was nice. He was method above the board with us. We had a wonderful working relationship with him. "

Making the Band was stuffed with expertise behind the scenes

Clay Newbill, executive producer and showrunner for Shark Tank, at a 2016 event.
Clay Newbill, government producer and showrunner for Shark Tank, at a 2016 occasion. (Photograph by Todd Wawrychuk / ABC)

Making the band It was up to now forward of its time, its first and second episodes even have panels of individuals deliberating, which additionally got here with a captivating fourth wall break. Amongst these discussing the collection of the eight finalists with Pearlman is ABC government Andrea Wong, who was in entrance of the digital camera speaking in regards to the future forged of that very same present.

Wong was "actually the particular person on ABC who noticed the potential of this as a TGIF present." On the time, the thought of ​​a actuality sequence didn’t exist in primetime. So it was a breakthrough, "Jon Murray instructed me.

Andrea Wong went on to develop The Bachelor, Dancing with the celebritiesY Excessive Makeover: House Version, earlier than shifting on to working Lifetime Networks after which main the worldwide tv manufacturing of Sony Footage.

Most of the different individuals within the credit of Making the band went on to form the way forward for actuality exhibits, together with:

  • Casting director Laura Korkoian, who became the showrunner from The true world Seattle and far later, A&E Born this fashion.
  • Cris Abrego, who’s at the moment CEO of Endemol Shine America, was the present's manufacturing supervisor and co-founded 51 Minds Leisure, which created exhibits like Surreal life Y Style of affection
  • Director Teri Kennedy, who went on to be a producer on Survivor and run unscripted TV at Ryan Seacrest Productions
  • Showrunner Clay Newbill, who went on to run exhibits The mole to Shark tank, which nonetheless produces. He had been engaged on Bunim-Murray exhibits for years, having been a producer on The true world San Franciscoand having produced the Guidelines of the highway pilot after which showrunning for years.

The band performs

The remaining four members of O-Town, except Ashley Parker Angel, toured in 2016 in Broomfield, Colorado.
The remaining 4 members of O-City, besides Ashley Parker Angel, toured in 2016 in Broomfield, Colorado. (Photograph by Jennifer Linea / Flickr)

The primary seconds of Making the band—Repeated as a part of the title sequence in future episodes— they’ve a textual content on the display screen that claims: "Look right into a world, behind the scenes, on the highway to fame."

That behind-the-scenes look lasted three seasons in whole, after which P. Diddy entered and led three different incarnations of Making the band, every of which had a number of stations. (And so, Diddy will bring back the show.)

O-City, the boy band named after Orlando, produced two albums, a self-titled debut Y O2, and likewise produced top-of-the-line of all time music videos for their single "Liquid Dreams".

O-City cut up in 2003, and Ashley Parker Angel was a soloist, each in music and on actuality exhibits: He had his own show, Round trip after which starred in Broadway productions.

However Erik Michael Estrada, Dan Miller, Trevor Penick, and Jacob Underwood reunited in 2013, and have since toured and launched two albums, together with An album last year.

What premiered on ABC 20 years in the past was a present that didn’t break viewers data or change into a popular culture phenomenon. However as a type of pc generated photographs within the "Liquid Goals" video, Making the band It landed on the tv panorama and unfold, and continues to reverberate to today.



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