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Loving the Surreal: Two Reality TV Pioneers

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Loving the Surreal: Two Reality TV Pioneers

Pop Culture

Loving the Surreal: Two Reality TV Pioneers

Loving the Surreal: Two Reality TV Pioneers

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Chris Abrego and Mark Cronin oversee a vast reality television empire. Their production company, 51 Minds, is sometimes responsible for 75 percent of the programming on the VH1 cable network.

Abrego and Cronin cut their reality teeth, respectively, on MTV's pioneering The Real World and on the TV version of radio's The Howard Stern Show.

The pair can be seen as non-fiction television pioneers and comedy innovators. Their show, The Surreal Life, created a humor subgenre of the then-new world of reality TV.

Abrego and Cronin are also business innovators, creating a franchise in which The Surreal Life begets Strange Love — and, by extension, Flavor of Love and I Love New York.

Nate DiMeo profiles the two producers who represent the state of the art of reality television.

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