Viewers set 'Rules' in MTV reality show


MTV is resurrecting its reality show "Road Rules," but the rules of the game have changed.

Set to premiere in January, the new season will incorporate interactive elements, among them the ability of viewers to determine through an online vote which cast member is eliminated each week, putting them in control of which six people remain behind the wheel.

"This is MTV's first reality show where viewers are actually casting the show and rendering the verdict about who they liked most and least," said Brian Graden, president of entertainment at MTVN Music Channels Group and president of Logo.

The show, which debuted in 1995, chronicles the journey of six strangers stripped of all their money and traveling to locations guided only by a set of clues and their mission to arrive successfully. The series ended in 2004. This installment finds six former cast members as its initial passenger crew.

In essence, the real-time version presents its action through two episodes — one on-air and one on MTV's broadband video channel Overdrive.

After the new broadcast episode airs, viewers will vote for one of two cast members — deemed the "weakest" by the rest of the cast — to enter an elimination face-off to air on MTV Overdrive. At the same time, viewers will determine the nominee's challenger from an Internet replacement board of potential male and female challengers, which lives on, along with video packages, personal blogs and statistics and background on each potential replacement.

Both will duel for a seat back in the "Road Rules" RV through an online challenge, with viewers not knowing the winner until the next on-air episode.

Additional interactive elements centered on the show include posted blogs and personal video diaries from cast members after each mission along with recorded message updates for mobile content.

"Viewers of reality shows have always been impassioned — just go to the message boards, and you'll see this," said Jonathan Murray, co-creator and executive producer of the show since its creation in 1995 and the chairman and president of Bunim-Murray Prods.