Whether you can't wait to watch or think it's a sign of end days, here are 10 things you should know about the recently announced reality TV show The Vineyard:
· Last week, ABC Family network announced it had picked up The Vineyard, a working title for a "dramatic coming-of-age" reality soap chronicling the lives of a small group of 18 to 24-year olds, some of whom will share a home and work at a well-known Island restaurant. "Tight quarters, new friends and new rivals, all living, working and playing together, make this picturesque playground ripe for mischief and romance."
· The producers, David Broome (executive producer of The Biggest Loser) and Brian Smith (Masterchef) of 25/7 Productions (Shedding for the Wedding, A Model Life and Flip Men), have been working on the project since 2009. Back then, the show's calling card was: "New friends are made, others fade away, lust simmers, and sometimes, mistakes are made with no regret. But one thing is for sure, you'll never forget your summer on The Vineyard."
· Even with simmering lust removed from the description, The Vineyard sounds to many like MTV's Jersey Shore. Yet, Broome is adamant that, "This will be as far away from Jersey Shore as you can possibly get. Think ABC Family and you'll know the kind of show we're gonna make. It's Disney, for God's sake." We're not sure if that means one of the female cast members will get locked in a castle or not.
· Regardless, Jersey Shore fears, distaste for the concept, mandatory Facebook bitching, and a few supportive messages are all represented in comments on the show's Facebook page: "I wish there was a hate button!" and "Give me a break. What you can't think of an original idea? How did you actually get this funded. Omg you are going to lose your shirt."
· Social media reactions aside, according to Broome, a significant number of locals and Island business owners have expressed interest in participating in the series one way or another.
· The series is set to air in July with principal shooting taking place from mid-May through July 4th. Broome assures, "A show like this is very different from 'Jaws' being filmed on the Island. These are small footprints by design. We'll use three cameras. We travel in passenger vans. 99.999 percent of the people won't know where we are."
· Broome plans for some of the characters to live together, "We're going to have a house that part of our cast members are going to live in; that will be home base for us in many ways. But that will be intercut with people from other parts of the Island." A likely location for the house is Edgartown, Oak Bluffs or Vineyard Haven.
· Those interested in being cast for the show as one of the eight core characters should send an email with introductory information to 25/7 Productions vice-president Yong Yam at firstname.lastname@example.org. The closed casting call will be held at the Mansion House on Feb. 22. On Saturday and Sunday, the casting directors will be in Boston meeting with college kids — both Islanders attending area schools and students who are interested in spending the summer on the Island. Apparently, over 500 applications to be on the show have been received.
· In addition to the main characters, the production company is looking for ancillary characters: parents, teachers, friends, and fishermen. No word on whether you have to actually be a parent, teacher, friend or fisherman to qualify.
· Why Martha's Vineyard? For Broome, "...there's this organic ticking clock; there's this limited period of time that our castmates have to go there, to find relationships, and then they're leaving . . . I find that to be a very interesting dynamic that Martha's Vineyard has to offer."
· If all goes well in 2013, "We're looking to build relationships on the Vineyard," said Mr. Broome. "Our goal is to have season after season."
· Martha's Vineyard comes of age in eyes of reality tv [Martha's Vineyard Times]
· ABC Reality TV Zooms in for the summer on the Vineyard [Vineyard Gazette]
· Reality Bites [Curbed Cape Cod]