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Exclusive: A Look At The Hills “Scheduled Reality” Production Calendar

This week’s Entertainment Weekly features a cover story on The Hills, featuring a sneak preview of season 4 (SPOILER ALERT, it’s the barfiest season yet!), and behind the scenes looks at stuff like Lauren’s awkward barbecue with her ex-boyfriend Doug whose dad invented the frozen burrito. I think the success of the show is based mostly on how RELATABLE everyone is. But perhaps the most intriguing insight is the paragraph on how the producers do or do not intervene in the lives of the show’s subjects (via Gawker):

As with most scenes on The Hills, the cast knew ahead of time that cameras would be present at the barbecue. Almost everything is planned in advance, which is why production of The Hills has always faced tremendous skepticism — is it contrived? Is it fake? The answer is…to a point. The Hills is, essentially, scheduled reality. A typical week begins with producers calling the core cast members on Sunday and getting intel on what’s happened to them over the weekend. An e-mail update is sent to the staff that night so everyone can prepare for Monday’s ”story meeting,” in which the producers and story editors sit around and dissect the Hills girls’ personal and social lives. From that, they determine whom to film during the week. (On average, it takes editors four to six weeks to cull through the footage and put together an episode.) Lauren and her costars are forbidden to attend these meetings. ”I would love to sit through one of those,” says Lauren, ”because it’s really them being like, ‘Yo, did you hear what this person said?”’

So, the answer is…I don’t know. “Scheduled reality” hurts my brain. It might make more sense to actually look at one of the production calendars.

Here’s this week’s schedule of the activities and moments that producers may or may not send a camera crew to capture.

Click for the full calendar.

I really hope they don’t leave “Heidi loses her cell phone in her vagina” on the cutting room floor. That would be the same as leaving gold on the cutting room floor.