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Reality TV: THR's 50 Most Powerful List

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    Chris Linn and Lauren Dolgen
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    Chris Linn and Lauren Dolgen
    Executive vp programming, head of production; senior vp series development, MTV

    “The goal with 16 and Pregnant was to gain awareness of the epidemic through honest storytelling,” says Dolgen, 37. “Teen birth rates have dropped 9 percent, the steepest decline in over 60 years. Our casting pool is shrinking, and that’s a good thing!”

    PHOTOS: THR's 2012 Reality Power List

    With Jersey Shore under his purview, Linn is used to fielding phone calls at all hours. “Am I being Punk’d by my own network?” recalls Linn, 47, of a 3 a.m. call from Shore executive producer SallyAnn Salsano informing him that Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino had been hospitalized after ramming himself into a wall to avoid a fight with a castmember. But Shore continues to deliver, with the recently completed Italy-set season ranking as the No. 1 show on cable in MTV’s core 12-to-34 demographic and a pair of spinoffs set to explore Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s engagement and pregnancy as well as The Situation’s rehab stint.

    COMPLETE LIST: THR's 2012 Reality Power List

    Also thriving is MTV’s Teen Mom franchise with the greenlighted Teen Mom 3, itself a spinoff of the upcoming fourth cycle of 16 and Pregnant. Linn and Dolgen are now focused on the renewed freshman viral-video series Ridiculousness, the ageless Real World, its spinoff The Challenge and a Punk’d reboot.

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