Jonathan Murray

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Jonathan Murray
Jonathan Murray
Born (1954-10-26) October 26, 1954 (age 63)
Gulfport, Mississippi
Other names Jon Murray
Occupation Television producer
Partner(s) Harvey Reese[1]
Children Dyllan Murray

Jonathan Murray (born October 26, 1955)[1] is an American television producer and co-creator of MTV's The Real World, Road Rules and The Challenge, and the Oxygen Network's Bad Girls Club.

Early life[edit]

Murray was born in Gulfport, Mississippi.[2] He grew up in Syracuse, New York,[1] and attended Fayetteville-Manlius High School and is currently in their Hall of Distinction. He attended State University of New York at Geneseo for two years before receiving his bachelor's degree in journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, in 1977.[1][3]


In 1987, Murray founded Bunim-Murray with partner Mary-Ellis Bunim.[4] Agent Mark Itkin of the William Morris Agency put the two together to develop a scripted soap opera for MTV. When that was too expensive, they decided to try an unscripted soap and the Real World was born. "We knew within 20 minutes of shooting that we had a show," Bunim said.[5]

Murray and Bunim's company, Bunim/Murray Productions, spearheaded the reality television genre. Among the numerous other reality programs that Murray and Bunim co-created over the years were Road Rules, Love Cruise, Making the Band, The Challenge, the reality feature film The Real Cancun, the real-life daily syndicated Starting Over, as well as Fox's The Simple Life. Bunim/Murray Productions are also executive producers on Project Runway for Lifetime and for Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami, Kourtney and Kim Take New York, and Khloe and Lamar, all on E!.

Murray and Bunim were inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2012.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Murray's partner is Harvey Reese. They have been together since 1992. They adopted a son.[6] Jonathan Murray's son Dyllan Murray is a current teen pop star/rapper that goes by Lil Dyllan. Lil Dyllan has recorded songs with major artists such as Meghan Trainor, Tyga, and Jack & Jack.

Murray's niece, Hailey Murray, appeared on the daytime reality series, Starting Over, another show he helped create, during the show's first season, with her mother, Lynnell.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d Ernst, Amanda (May 16, 2012). "So What Do You Do, Jonathan Murray, Father of Reality TV?". Mediabistro. Retrieved October 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ Rucker, LaReeca (June 29, 2010). "MTV welcomes Mississippi woman to 'The Real World'". The Clarion-Ledger. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  3. ^ Tenhouse, Jesslyn. "Jonathan Murray". Missouri School of Journalism. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Rose, Lacey; Wilson Hunt, Stacey (March 30, 2012). "Reality TV Pioneer Jonathan Murray Talks 'Real World,' Kim Kardashian Marriage Fallout". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Chien, Ginny (June 8, 2003). "Gay showbizzers adopt family ties". Variety. Retrieved September 8, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Not Found". Archived from the original on March 16, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 

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