Mark Cronin

Are you being real?: The One and Only podcast

Mark Cronin is one of the top reality TV producers in the history of the field. He has produced close to fifty different shows including The Surreal Life, Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, Charm School, Below Deck, and Below Deck Mediterranean. Today we discuss the authenticity of reality TV, what it teaches us about human nature, and where it’s headed in the future. This episode is for both lovers and haters of reality TV, and has gems of knowledge for all of us about how to be real, face our fears, and take risks.

Episode Quotes

“The best reality shows, reflect true human nature.”

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MediaPost Interview with Mark Cronin

Veteran TV producer Mark Cronin had an unusual background for entertainment. “I went to school for chemical engineering. I hated that career, though, and got myself out by harassing the ‘Howard Stern’ TV show until they hired me in the early ‘90s,” he explained.

From there he became a showrunner for MTV’s ‘Singled Out,” before launching his own production company, Mindless Entertainment, for game and talk shows — and eventually the reality show, “The Surreal Life.” “That became a big hit. Now I produce ‘Idiotest' for GSN (in our fourth season now), and ‘Below Deck’ and ‘Below Deck Mediterranean’ for Bravo,” he added.

Charlene Weisler: How has content creation changed (or not) since you first started in the business?

Mark Cronin: When I started in reality TV, it was still a pioneering genre. Now, as a mature business, there are standard procedures, positions and production methods. In the early days, I think we were making it all up as we went along.

Weisler: How do you craft a character’s image that the audience will believe?

Cronin: When people are on a reality show, you really need them to reveal the truth about themselves. Some people do it easily and willingly, and others have more trouble being honest and real in front of the camera.

I always construct and cast my shows so that the truth will come out one way or another. Once someone is being honest, truthful and revealing, the audience will know it, recognize it and love it.


Forbes Interview: A Reality TV Trailblazer Shares Insider Secrets To Developing Blockbuster Entertainment

Anyone who watches TV even for 30 minutes a week has seen the dramatic explosion of reality TV as a dominant genre of entertainment today. According to one study, we’ve gone from one major reality show “Survivor” more than 15 years ago, to over 300 reality shows being aired today.

I’ve often wondered where the ideas for these shows come from, and why exactly do some shows go on to be blockbusters, while others fail miserably. I’ve wondered too what makes them so addictive to some people, yet others aren’t attracted to them at all.

To learn more about reality TV and the secret to developing entertainment programs that enthrall their audiences, I caught up withMark Cronin, TV producer, writer and entrepreneur, and creator of the show Below Deck which is setting new ratings records forBravo. Throughout his landmark career, Mark has founded three successful production companies and served as show runner on 43 TV series across 12 different networks, the majority of which are seeing multiple seasons and spinoffs becoming standout entities. Mark is considered by many a true game-changer in the reality TV world, which continues to rise in the ranks of popularity and money-making ability for networks.

An Ivy league graduate with a degree in chemical engineering, Mark took an unusual path to producing television, ultimately creating reality TV powerhouse production company Mindless Entertainment and co-founding 51 Minds Entertainment.  Mark continues to produce Bravo’s highly popular Below Deck, the spinoff Below Deck Mediterranean and his new company Little Wooden Boat Productions Inc. produces the game show Idiotest on GSN now prepping for it’s fourth season.

Sirius XM: 1 on 1 with Larry Flick-Reality television with Mark Cronin

Longtime SiriusXM host Larry Flick comes to Entertainment Weekly Radio with a brand new daily pop culture talk show. Each day Larry will be discussing the biggest stories from TV, movies, and music from his point of view while interviewing some of the biggest names from entertainment.