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The Hollywood Reporter Unveils 2013 Reality Heat List

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    Reality Issue
    Unlawful Activity
    Discovery Channel
    "Weed Country"
    'Moonshiners' and 'Weed Country'
    Unlawful Activity

    This story first appeared in the April 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

    Reality TV and criminality have had a long and fruitful partnership -- from the ride-along action of Cops to the behind-bars drama of Locked Up -- but now a subgenre is flourishing dedicated to illegal artisanal pursuits.

    Shows like Discovery's Moonshiners, centered on a group of white-lightning brewers in Appalachia and the Alcoholic Beverage Control officers on their tails, and Weed Country, a six-part series (also on Discovery) that's set on the California-Oregon border in the marijuana-growing nirvana known as the Emerald Triangle, have seen steady audience growth, with Moonshiners' season-two finale drawing a series-best 3.87 million viewers.

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    "We're trying to tell a balanced story looking at both sides of a very complicated issue," says Eli Holzman, president of Weed Country studio All3Media America. Of course, producing a series that straddles both sides of the law can be a dicey proposition. "We didn't want to suddenly find ourselves in the middle of a show where someone's call sheet resulted in a bust," says Holzman. "It's a dangerous show to shoot."

    Click here to read THR's complete Reality Heat List.

    Continue reading the list