Two decades after its debut, MTV’s „The Challenge“ is still going strong.
What started off as a simple competition show has turned into more than 30 seasons of daring stunts, unpredictable twists, and enough drama to outlast both of its flagship series, „Real World“ and „Road Rules.“
As entertaining as the show is, every season of „The Challenge“ requires a lot of organization and planning behind the scenes.
Here are 11 surprising facts you never knew about the hit reality series.
„Elite“ cast members can make enough money on the show to not hold a full-time job.
You’ve probably wondered how „Challenge“ stars can just take time off from their normal lives and jobs for upwards of a month to appear on the show.
It turns out how much the cast members make from the show depends on their performance and overall popularity. According to Us Weekly, „elite“ players can make „upwards of $80,000“ just for showing up, allowing them to abstain from working outside of the show.
Other vets rake in $3,000 to $5,000 a week while rookies are paid about $1,000 for every week they stay on the show. To supplement their income, some cast members work part-time or start side projects. Meanwhile, those who aren’t cast as often do maintain a regular, full-time job.
Producers think of the show as a „soap opera“ of sorts.
In a 2017 interview with TV Guide, Jonathan Murray — the series co-creator and co-founder of Bunim/Murray Productions, which produces the show — said he believes a lot of viewers stick with the series „season after season“ just to catch up with returning contestants.
„With ‚The Challenge,‘ you’ve got cast members who viewers have grown up with,“ Murray told Rolling Stone in January.
For the past two decades, viewers have watched some contestants go through „various phases of their lives,“ including marriage, divorce, and „health threats,“ Murray said.
„It’s the longest-running soap-opera on TV,“ he added.
Cast members can get fined for leaking details about new seasons.
According to Murray, various preventative measures are taken in order to avoid spoilers getting out, including penalties for cast members who leak information too early.
„The cast understands that [leaking spoilers] only hurts them because if the ratings go down, the show potentially won’t come back,“ Murray told Rolling Stone in January.“But we do have fines and penalties that come into effect if they release information. And we have serious talks about it.“
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Source: Business insider