Viral effort seeds intrigue for new YTV reality entry

YTV has kids wrangling alligators for tuition, and is conducting a very niche interest-based grassroots promo for the new elimination-based series.

In the Real World, a new reality TV show, gives kids a sneak peek into their professional future – if they aspire to be alligator wranglers or circus performers.

Airing Wednesdays at 7 pm starting Feb. 4 on YTV, the show features 18 challengers aged 12 to 14 racing across North America to avoid elimination and win the grand prize of tuition and an all-expense-paid family vacation.

YTV has a strong hold on a demographic that is mostly younger than the contestants on the show, but exec producer Jonathan Finkelstein of Montreal-based Apartment 11 Productions says kids tend to watch up. ‘We cast at the top end of the age group,’ he says.

Finkelstein says they haven’t yet secured sponsorship for the show’s grand prize of $15,000, which will be placed into an RESP and ideally grow to a sum large enough to pay for four years of tuition and an all-expense-paid dream vacation. ‘We don’t have our sponsorship secured, but we’re talking to banks for the RESP and for the trip,’ he says.

A preview of the show is currently on YouTube, and viral promotions based on the children’s interests will be launched as well. ‘If one of our challengers is part of a bowling association, we will do a little biography of her, say she’s on the show and send it out to people in the bowling league,’ Finkelstein says.

After each episode, extra footage will stream on YTV’s website, and excerpts from contestants’ diaries outlining their experiences, impressions and thoughts will be posted online as well.

The 13-episode, one-hour show is hosted by 23-year-old comedian Sabrina Jalees.