Reality TV producer Mark Cronin joins the show for a discussion about his extensive career working as the creator and executive producer of various reality TV shows starting with Singled Out in the 90s and continuing to his work today on hit shows like Bravo's Below Deck.
In entertainment, an awful lot of stuff happens behind closed doors, from canceling TV shows to organizing music festival lineups. While the public sees the end product on TVs, movie screens, paper, or radio dials, they don’t see what it took to get there. In Expert Witness, The A.V. Club talks to industry insiders about the actual business of entertainment in hopes of shedding some light on how the pop-culture sausage gets made.
Anyone in their 30s remembers Singled Out, MTV’s innuendo-heavy dating show. Initially hosted by Chris Hardwick and Jenny McCarthy, the show matched up college-age singles by virtue of bra size, hula-hooping ability, and how well their raunchy perfect date puns synched up. It wasn’t a science by any means, but viewers ate it up, with MTV ordering five seasons between 1995 and 1998, when the show went off the air.
While both Hardwick and McCarthy have answered hundreds if not thousands ofSingled Out questions, there’s still not much information out there about what actually went on behind the scenes of the show. How did the show recruit its 50 muscle-bound dudes and flare-clad gals? Were any real love connections ever made? And why did the show always send its winners to Catalina Island? Mark Cronin knows the answers to these questions. Initially hired as the show’s head writer, Cronin was promoted to showrunner for its second and third seasons and saw Singled Out through its glory days. He talked to The A.V. Club about packages, spring break, and Singled Out’s dirty little secret.