Top 5 reality shows that should film in Tempe

A new season of television is approaching and with it comes the reappearance of the usual reality shows and scripted shows that are predictably set in New York and Los Angeles. Some shows try to break away from the norm. “The Office” was charmingly set in Scranton, Pa., albeit filmed in California, and “Breaking Bad” made Albuquerque infamous. Some reality shows try to diversify televised locales by choosing to film their competitions and catfights in underrepresented cities. One state is still begging to be portrayed on the small screen — Arizona. It’s time to show our fine state some love, so the The State Press has compiled a list of the top five reality shows that need to happen in Tempe.

The Real World Tempe: It is remarkable that MTV has chosen to repeat locations rather than take advantage of a location that is home to one of the largest colleges in the country. If Austin, Texas, proved successful, so can Tempe. Anyone who has ever been to Mill Avenue on a Saturday night has probably had this idea; it’s time for some producers to get on board. The chances of light rail brawls and general bacchanalia are guaranteed. It’s a great marketing opportunity for the many newly constructed condo complexes. Bonus points if a cast member ends up in Tent City.

The Real Housewives of Scottsdale: There were rumors of casting notices for The Real Housewives of Scottsdale, but nothing has come to pass. It is also one of the main reasons that a Real World season would be better confined to the area surrounding ASU. No one wants to watch coeds frolic in Old Town when they could be watching middle-aged woman making fools of themselves instead. The local market of cougars and Ed-Hardy-wearing millionaires is seriously untapped. Someone needs to throw Andy Cohen a tax credit for filming.

Pawn Stars and Prostitutes: Pawn shop shows are inexplicably popular right now and a show in Arizona could add some Wild West flair. Any business on Van Buren Street would suffice.

Top Chef: “Top Chef” is good about exploring different aspects of the city and state where they choose to film. There’s potential for some promising challenges in Scottsdale and Tempe — reimagining a Filberto’s combo, quick-fire challenges with rattlesnake and javelina and Food Truck Friday challenges.

Copper Wars: Discovery Channel and A&E have proved that adding the “wars” after a noun or verb — shipping, storage, property, Texas car, etc. — is all that’s necessary for a half-hour of quality television. Arizona has a mining culture and it shouldn’t be too hard to find some grown men who want to be filmed “fighting” about it.


Reach the reporter at

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.