Meet Jon Murray, The Reality TV Mastermind

We have 3 things you need to know about the man behind all of your favorite reality television shows

This past week, the Television Academy Foundation announced that they are directing $1 million towards their new Diversity and Inclusion Unscripted Internship Program. The paid eight-week internship is designed to provide low-income Los Angeles-area college students with in-depth exposure to the reality TV business. In honor of this new program, we are introducing you to the man behind its inception, Jonathan Murray, who also happens to be the creator and producer of your favorite reality television shows. Here are 3 things to know about the reality TV mastermind.

He spearheaded the reality television genre

Jon Murray is a television producer and co-founder of the production company Bunim-Murray Productions. He is often credited with launching the modern reality TV genre after releasing The Real World in 1992. Other iconic programs that he has co-created include Road Rules, Love Cruise, Making the Band, The Challenge, Bad Girls Club, and The Simple Life.

Bunim-Murray Productions is also an executive producer on Project Runway, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kourtney and Khloe Take Miani, Kourtney and Kim Take New York, and Khloe and Lamar.

He helped create the Diversity and Inclusion Unscripted Internship Program
Murray was actually the one who came up with the idea to create a more diverse and inclusive internship program. Speaking about the initiative, donor Chris Abergo stated, “About two years ago, Jon Murray first called me to talk about the lack of diversity in unscripted TV; and after talking with him at great length, we decided to do something about it and hopefully make a lasting difference within our industry.”

Murray and Abrego were just 2 of several donors who raised the $1 million to fund the new program.

He has been honored on several occasions for his outstanding work
Over the course of his distinguished career, Murray has won 2 Primetime Emmys (for Autism: The Musical in 2008 and Born This Way in 2017), 2 Daytime Emmys (for Starting Over in 2005 and Valerie’s Home Cooking in 2019), and has been nominated for 6 PGA Awards.

Murray was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2012. The institution was created to honor those who have made exceptional contributions to U.S. television. Other inductees include Lucille Ball, Walt Disney, and Oprah Winfrey.

About the Author

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Pooja Nayyar

Pooja Nayyar is a student of Political Science at NYU and an Intern at AfterBuzz TV. She is passionate about entertainment news, photography, and all things pop culture.