In 2014, TLC unleashed a beast, a beast of which even the network executives were not fully prepared. The network, known for launching the Duggars to fame and taking a look at strange addictions, introduced viewers to couples going through the K-1 visa process on 90-day boyfriend in January 2014. Now, seven seasons and several spin-offs later, 90 Day is not only a hit, it has also secured its place in pop culture.
Alon Orstein, Senior vice president of TLC for production and development, said the network had the feeling that the show was something special when they were developing it, they sent it directly into series, but the real surprise came after the first one.
“I think we were surprised at how immersed he really is in zeitgeists now,” he said.
“We were only talking internally the other day about how many people come to mind – and we had this in the past with some of our other shows that hit that zeitgeisty moment – but we have friends and family and only random people in you might come across in a grocery store or hairdresser when they hear you working on TLC saying “Oh my god, I love 90-day boyfriend, “” Orstein continued.
Orstein said almost immediately that the show developed an audience on social media, and they were “pleasantly surprised” by how well the show was able to overcome the growing growth of television programming. In fact, the franchise is still being added to the television landscape.
With 90-day boyfriend correct, Before 90 days, Forever happy and content?, The other way and new miniseries 90 Day Fiancé: Just LandingOrstein said there are still ways in which the franchise could expand. “We believe there are still elements to explore besides where we are now. We don’t know what they will be yet, but we believe there are still opportunities,” he said.
So what does it mean to make one of the most successful reality TV franchises? We have the scoop.
IS IT REALLY REAL?
Every year the same accusations are raised, especially with some of the more novels, May-December, and viewers do not believe that couples are legitimate. They do their research on social media; they take out the receipts. But Orstein wants to assure viewers that it has not been staged or simulated.
“We work so hard to follow the authentic journeys of all these people. In reality it is something we take so seriously, even in this case 90 days, about much of what we do on TLC, “he said, noting that sometimes they work to find a time and place to shoot a conversation, but the conversation remains authentic.
“The true business card of TLC and certainly with 90-day boyfriend is that it’s authentic. We are not joining these couples; these people are not actors. These are real people and it’s all about individuals looking for “the one”. And sometimes it’s across thousands of miles and sometimes they haven’t known each other for a long time, but these are all people who have connected on their own and we want to be that fly on the wall that is traveling, “he said.
THE SCREENING PROCESS
According to Orstein, the entire interview and the screen process for the casting vary.
“Sometimes it could be super short because we could interview someone we really liked and something is happening instantly, especially on[[[[Before 90 days]and sometimes on The other way, where: “Hey, I’m going. I’m going to meet this person”, or “I’m going to meet moving to this other country and I’m on this timeline and I really need to keep it.” And we want to honor him, “said Orstein.
At other times, TLC and production might be on a couple’s doorstep or need more information and they want to meet friends and families of potential cast members to really get an idea of what they would work with and answer questions. Additional.
“So the range can really work. Someone might be in the casting pipeline for a fair amount of time or someone might be very short before starting production,” he said.
Part of the interview process is determining if these people are on the show for the right reasons.
“I would like to extend this even further 90-day boyfriend because we were worried about this in some of our other shows, especially anthology shows … things like that My strange addictionor those where we just wanted to make sure no one was trying to enter the show for a joke or go on the show to advance their presence in some way, form or form, “he said.” So, we are definitely always checking people, but also asking many of the relevant questions to make sure this is an authentic journey, this is a real relationship. Of course, we do background checks and social checks and all those things, but we’re also really – through many questions in the casting process – doing everything we can to try to make sure they are there for the right reasons. “
DANGERS OF 90 DAYS
The nature of 90-day boyfriend it means that production teams travel all over the world, sometimes in some remote and high-risk areas of foreign countries. In Brazil, while cameras were active on cast members Paul and Karine, they came in contact with a machete man. Orstein said they have taken measures behind the scenes.
“We are incredibly serious in ensuring that the crew, couples, their families, etc., are always safe. It is the number one priority, whether we are in the United States or abroad. Of course, if we are in trouble in the overseas area we have manufacturers and security and we are really ensuring that we are doing everything we can to mitigate the risk, “he said.
As for the specific moment with Paul and Karine, Orstein said that they were all surprised when they heard about it and even more shocked when they finally saw the footage. “It happens. Enough happened in shows in the United States in places that were perhaps not as risky as where we were in Brazil at the time. So, you never know when something like this could happen. But we are very careful, especially because we are traveling in some countries that may have a greater risk than others. It is something that we spend a lot of time, especially Sharp Entertainment, the production company, making sure they are punctuating all their I’s and going through all their T’s, taking protective measures, ” he said.
CROSS THE LINE
During the third season of Before 90 days, some viewers wondered why the production did not intervene with Cesare and his long-distance fiancée Maria. To the spectators at home, it seemed clear that he had taken advantage of it. Is there a line where producers and behind-the-scenes players are ever involved? Orstein said they “try not to interfere in the natural course of things outside of emergency situations” or if they are “forced to be involved in any way, form or form for legal or whatever.”
“Of course, we are very sensitive to the needs of individuals, if people need support if people need guidance, somehow we would like to provide them,” he said. “I think every situation is probably different and it’s probably case by case as to when production would be involved.”
If there was a physical altercation, then production would have intervened. Minutes? It depends. “It’s not necessarily our place to interfere with that,” he said. “So, it varies from case to case, and I think the very strong crews and production staff who are on this show have a really good sense of when to intervene and when not.”
AFTER 90 DAYS
What happens to couples after the 90-day trip? Orstein said they take the preparation cast to deal with the press, fame and any emotional trauma that could have happened “very seriously” on the screen.
“There is a preparation on the front end, as regards when people enter it for the first time because they are normal people who have not been exposed to this type of situation in the past – being on television social media – all these things, “He said. “And we provide support in everything, both TLC and Sharp, regarding only the safety of people. If people get in touch or we feel that they may need help for any reason, we will do it. And then, after shooting we still want to be able to provide support and access to resources if necessary for anyone we think may need it. “
90-day boyfriend the seventh season is aired on Sunday, at 20:00 on TLC. Before 90 days previews of the fourth season on Sunday 23 February on TLC.