The Hills: New Beginnings abruptly stopped filming at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with production on hold indefinitely.
As the deadline to resume filming looms, MTV thinks that they’ve come up with a new plan.
Famously, some of the only people on the planet who weren’t impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic were the cast of Big Brother Germany.
Why? Because they were in a hermetically sealed bunker to film reality television. The hosts had to tell them about the pandemic.
A number of reality shows have filmed in "bubbles" to one degree or another. Now, another show joins their ranks.
TMZ reports that The Hills: New Beginnings plans to adopt this model for the revival series’ second season.
According to production sources, MTV and Evolution Media are considering moving filming into one location to film.
That would either be one large home or at least a shared complex, not unlike how some sports teams are operating.
The idea is that they would film for a month or two.
That way, they could wrap up filming Season 2.
As you may recall from our previous reporting, the MTV series had already filmed three episodes before the COVID-19 pandemic shut things down in March.
The entire cast is reportedly eager to get back to work.
That means Brody Jenner, Audrina Patridge, Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, and more under potentially one roof.
That said, there are mixed feelings about the proposed "bubble" atmosphere.
See, there are understandable concerns that lumping the cast together like that could create drama.
Drama is great for reality TV, but in this case they mean contrived and unnecessary drama.
Um … even more than usual, if you can imagine.
Others, however, think that operating a little like Jersey Shore wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
There is a lot of potential for filming people who are suddenly thrust into being roommates, even in a swanky situation.
And, of course, there is the safety issue.
We have all seen as story after story features schools and universities opening only to have to immeidately switch to online instruction, because of course they did.
We are in the midst of a worsening pandemic after a colossal failure of leadership at the federal level.
Reality (and scripted) projects that are filming now know that they are taking real risks, even with safeguards in place.
The reality is that, just as staying indoors like a mad hermit with no human contact give you the best odds in a pandemic, there are ways to mitigate the danger.
Mask-wearing, temperature checks, and regular COVID testing are not foolproof solutions.
What works? Put a bunch of COVID-free people in a mansion or on a compound and prevent any contact with the outside world.
When a scripted series reuses one or two main sets instead of venturing anywhere new, it is called a "bottle episode," a name earned on Star Trek.
The format has been a proven success in various entertainment media, obviously including reality TV.
Some of the most entertaining Real Housewives moments in history have taken place when all of the ladies are spending time in one mansion.
MTV and Evolution Media aren’t necessarily married to the idea yet.
Production will not have to reach a decision on this front for more than a month.
In October, when filming was set to renew, they will need to make the call. Until then, they can keep mulling it over.