MTV is ordering four more seasons of its veteran reality hit "The Real World."

The order will extend the 17-year-old docudrama from Bunim-Murray Prods. to an incredible 26 cycles. MTV also is ordering another four rounds of Bunim-Murray's "The Real World/Road Rules Challenge," bringing the competition series to 21 cycles.

The deal was brokered by Gil Goldschein, who has been promoted to president of Bunim-Murray. The current season of "The Real World: Brooklyn" will air its finale Wednesday, and producers are shooting the next round, "The Real World: Cancun."

Bunim-Murray chairman and "Real World" executive producer Jon Murray said the hefty order will benefit the show's production team creatively.

"This allows us to plan," he said. "It helps us figure out where we're going next and allows us to do some long-range thinking."

Given MTV's youthful target audience, the network must develop a constant stream of new, hip programming. But the "Real World" format keeps managing to hook new generations of viewers.

"MTV is proud to continue our relationship with Bunim-Murray that stretches back over 15 years," MTV programming president Tony DiSanto said. "With each new season, the 'Real World' franchise continues to evolve and captivate our ever-changing audience."

Producers tweaked the format for the Brooklyn season by not giving the cast members jobs.

"It's something I've been wanting to do for a while, and it's easier to do in a big metropolitan area," Murray said. "The season after Cancun, a location that hasn't been announced yet, I think might be like that too."

"Real World" was created for MTV by Murray and Mary-Ellis Bunim. Murray and Jim Johnston are executive producers. (partialdiff)