Ryan Seacrest Is No. 1 on THR's Reality Power List
Two years ago, Lauren Dolgen read an article that said 750,000 American teenage girls get pregnant every year. "It was like getting kicked in the gut," she says. "I thought: 'Oh my God, this is happening to our audience. This is happening to their friends. We should be telling these stories.' " Dolgen's instincts were spot-on: The second season of MTV's 16 & Pregnant averaged more than 3 million viewers (Season 3 premieres April 19) and pop-culture juggernaut Teen Mom averages 4 million viewers and regularly beats its cable and broadcast competition. With more than three decades at MTV Networks between them -- Dolgen started as a college intern in MTV Europe's press department in 1997, and Chris Linn joined the company in 1990 as a production assistant at Nickelodeon Studios in Florida -- the duo has helped MTV become, again, must-see viewing among teens and twentysomethings. Of the recently renewed The Real World, which takes the show through a 28th cycle and into a third decade, and Jersey Shore, whose third-season finale was watched by 8 million viewers, Linn says, "It goes to show you the kind of legs that reality has when it's done right."