He’s responsible for those seven strangers, picked to live in a house and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real. Jonathan Murray, together with production partner Mary-Ellis Bunim, produced MTV’s hit reality show, The Real World, which many consider to be the first modern reality program. In his Archive interview Murray reveals that he was influenced by the 1973 documentary series, An American Family (often noted as THE first reality program) and shares that he studied broadcast journalism and worked in local news before dabbling in producing his own documentaries and reality programs. Some of the other successful programs in the Bunim-Murray family: The Single Life, Starting Over, The Bad Girls Club, and Keeping up with the Kardashians.
The Real World put Bunim-Murray on the map, and Murray describes the story of the show’s creation in his 2011 interview:
Murray will be inducted into the Television Hall of Fame on March 1, 2012. His production partner, Mary-Ellis Bunim, passed away in 2004 and will also be inducted, posthumously.