MTV is heading to the hills of West Virginia for Buck Wild, a new docu-series centering on recent high school graduates living in a rural Appalachian town.
Buck Wild has received a 12-episode order from the network, based on a presentation reel that was shot earlier this year. "Historically we've had great success at MTV diving into unique and unexplored youth cultures," says MTV programming head David Janollari, pointing to shows like Jersey Shore. "I think this is a new frontier for us."
Unlike Jersey Shore, the kids on Buck Wild won't live together and aren't being tasked with some sort of assignment. Janollari says he hopes the show will be a "refreshing look at this modern millennial generation. They live life to the fullest and have pride in their community and their circle of friends."
Janollari says there will even be a Jackass element to the show, as these budding adults take part in regional pastimes like mud racing, squirrel hunting and rope swinging. "They are definitely authentic with a capital 'A,'" he says of the show's stars. "These kids have the same kind of issues and goals and desires as we all do. They all want to find true love or have families. They just live in a world that's really different that many of us live in."
Summer TV Winner: MTV
Buck Wild will include a wide range of kids across the socio-economic strata — from the more well-off kids living "up in the hills" to the working-class kids down "in the holler." MTV could face concerns from some critics or area politicians that Buck Wild might ridicule rural America — a question that past reality shows like UPN's Amish in the City (and CBS' scrapped The Real Beverly Hillbillies) have had to address.
But Janollari stresses that the show "is so wholeheartedly not making fun of these kids... they have a great sense of humor, and you're drawn to them and this world." Janollari also notes that Buck Wild executive producers include Parallel Entertainment's J.P. Williams, a West Virginia native who's behind the Blue Collar Comedy tour and the careers of Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall.
Buck Wild also comes from Zoo Productions (Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, The Blame Game) and executive producers John Stevens and Barry Poznick.
Buck Wild will likely wait to start production until spring, when West Virginia thaws out. That means the show probably won't premiere until late summer or early fall.
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