MTV’s long-running reality competition series The Challenge is about to return with its 36th season, subtitled “Double Agents.” The show has been on the air since 1998 and is showing no signs of slowing down — except for one major problem that producers are trying to figure out how to solve.
An EP Says Spoilers Are Threatening The Life of the Show
In a recent interview on the podcast “Reality Life with Kate Casey,” executive producer and President of Entertainment and Development at Bunim/Murray Productions Julie Pizzi revealed that the spoilers are getting out of hand.
“I have to tell you, this year the speed in which spoilers started coming out, although not all accurate, was sort of heartwrenching,” said Pizzi. “It made you realize that somebody on the cast or crew is violating their confidentiality.”
She went on to say that “superfans” are doing this, but they’re doing it “at the jeopardy of the show” they love.
“The real threat is that if we can’t control this, does the show go off the air?” said Pizzi, adding, “It’s unfortunate.”
Indeed, spoilers for season 36 started leaking out back in late September and early October.
MTV Has Hired an Internet Sleuth to Smoke Out the Leaks
In a February 2019 interview with E! Online, Pizzi called spoilers the “bane of [their] existence” and joked that MTV was going going to hire a detective to suss out the rat, saying, “We have one leak that we’re trying to figure out that’s been going on for a couple of years now. We practically put detectives on it to try and figure out who it is!”
But now, almost two years later, that’s exactly what MTV is doing. Pizzi said on the podcast interview that they have to find a way to mitigate the spoilers, so they’ve “taken a different approach” going into season 37.
“We at MTV have taken a very different approach now going into this next season where we’re bringing in sort of an ‘internet sleuth’ who will be able to identify who those people are for us,” revealed Pizzi. “There’s a real expense to it, but at this point, there’s just not enough trust and it’s really, really unfortunate.”
She did say, however, that they do try to be “lenient” with the cast members because they realize it’s important for the cast to publicize on social media what they’re up to, but there comes a point where the cast members also have to respect the show.
“We try to be lenient with the cast because we understand that they make money off of their social [media], we want them to be able to be successful, but not at the expense of the series that we’re inviting them on and paying them for and asking them to basically let us do our job to get the show on the air,” said Pizzi.
The Challenge season 36, “Double Agents,” premieres Wednesday, December 9 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.
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