‘The Challenge’: Mark Long Moving Forward With OG Season, Will MTV Let Evan and Kenny Come Back?
The Challenge is officially going old school thanks to a Road Rules OG. Mark Long – who competed on the first season of Road Rules in 1995 – recently announced his formal partnership with Bunim/Murray Productions to create an OG project for MTV. But, will the network let Evan and Kenny come back to compete?
Mark Long first pitched his idea to fans of ‘The Challenge’
According to Us Weekly, Mark pitched his idea over the summer on social media. He asked his followers if they would like to see competitors from The Challenge who they haven’t seen for years come together for a new show.
The idea quickly went viral, which led Mark to reach out to former co-stars to see if there was any interest on their end. Then, he took his idea to Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP), who liked the idea and signed a deal with Mark.
“I am thrilled to announce my formal partnership with Bunim/Murray Productions. They have been like family to me since the mid-1990s when the original Road Rules premiered,” said Mark.
The 49-year-old added that his history with the company and BMP’s success in the reality competition space was the “perfect formula to bring the #WeWantOGs project to life.” Mark described his project as “something fun, nostalgic, and familiar” plus a whole lot more.
‘The Challenge’ shooting schedule is difficult for OGs
Mark shared his excitement for developing his concept with BMP, and he is eager to see “where it lands.” One thing he is sure of is that the timing is perfect for his OG project.
He says the cast members he has reached out to are ready for the new project. But more importantly, he says that “reality fans are chomping at the bit for it.” Mark says he is ready to “hit this thing out of the park.”
Mark explained the reason why OGs can’t do a full season of The Challenge is because many of them have full-time jobs, careers, and/or children. This makes leaving for eight weeks to shoot a TV series impossible.
“People that I’ve reached out to are people that have always wanted to come back, I think, but have had either family or job issues that wouldn’t allow it,” said Mark.
Will MTV let Evan and Kenny participate in the new competition?
As Medium points out, Kenny Santucci and Evan Starkman were two of the greatest players in Challenge history by the end of the Rivals season. But, after Tonya Cooley accused them of sexual assault during Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Ruins, MTV and BMP cut ties with the controversial contestants.
MTV eventually settled a lawsuit with Cooley, who claimed Challenge producers watched the assault and kept the cameras rolling. According to Jezebel, MTV’s parent company Viacom responded to Cooley’s complaint by saying the assault was Cooley’s fault.
[She] was frequently intoxicated, rowdy, combative, flirtatious and on multiple occasions intentionally exposed her bare breasts and genitalia to other contestants,” said Viacom.
Now that more than a decade has passed, will MTV allow Evan and Kenny to return? Neither were convicted of a crime. It appears that the only thing keeping MTV from casting them again on The Challenge are insane insurance costs. Fans will just have to wait and see what happens.