The cast of MTV’s reality hit The Hills: New Beginnings are reportedly furious after the network revealed it was placing an indefinite hold on production due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report from Page Six, Evolution Media has been going to great lengths to ensure the safety of both the cast and crew during production but the decision was made by higher-ups at MTV and ViacomCBS.
“Evolution has hired an outside consultant, an infectious disease doctor and a team that will be doing the testing — and, if need be, contact tracing — if someone was to get COVID-19,” an insider close to the show revealed to the gossip outlet.
“They’ve been in touch with LA County Health officials on a regular basis as well.”
In addition, the show had reportedly been planning on cleaning locations in between shoots and seeing as the cast is used to getting camera-ready, they were going to provide their own hair and makeup services. It wasn’t enough for ViacomCBS, however.
“The network has not told the cast why they were put on hold,” continued the insider. “Evolution spent months getting ready to start filming and now MTV has gone silent on them.”
“It’s shocking that when the world is starving for new content, they won’t allow The Hills to safely return,” they explained. “Everyone is perplexed. The Hills is a flagship staple for MTV and the cast is ready, willing and able to pick up filming again with LA County signing off on it. People are starving for content and they can do a ton of filming outside and in people’s homes without going into public spaces.”
Season 2 changes
As previously reported, MTV had decided to move forward with a second season of the show despite rather low ratings during its reboot season and most of the cast were expected to return but the network has still not released any official names.
Reports have leaked, however, that big-name get Mischa Barton has been let go by Evolution and won’t be returning for the new season.
Mischa Barton (left) has reportedly been fired from The Hills: New Beginnings and MTV and production company Evolution Media have replaced her with socialite Caroline D’Amore (right). (Photo: Getty Images)
She was reportedly replaced with socialite Caroline D’Amore, who used to be friends with both Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, possibly giving the new season more of an original feel. (The Hills originally followed Lauren Conrad and her entrance to the LA socialite scene.)
Following the news that Kristen Cavallari is divorcing her husband Jay Cutler, both Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag openly discussed the potential of MTV adding her to The Hills: New Beginnings. And despite a suspension in production due to the pandemic, production was set to resume this August so to say that this hold news is a shock would be an understatement.
Evolution Media’s multiple controversies
While it remains unclear at this point what is going to happen with the show, it does appear that while Evolution Media and the cast are ready to go, the network may be leaning towards going in a different direction.
Evolution Media, the production company behind The Hills: New Beginnings on MTV, also produces Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules. (Photo: NBC Universal)
Evolution Media, the production company behind The Hills: New Beginnings, hasn’t had the easiest past few months. Not only have they been trying to get Season 2 up and running on MTV, the company also oversees Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules, in addition to shows like E!’s Botched.
Just last month, Bravo and Evolution Media announced that four cast members had been fired from Vanderpump Rules over past racist behaviour. And just prior to that, the company had to give a facelift to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after Lisa Vanderpump walked away mid-season.
While it’s not clear that the company’s other struggles have anything to do with production on The Hills, the timing of MTV’s decision is certainly interesting.