Traditionally, Los Angeles and New York are often thought of as the big showbiz towns, but Alaska’ frontier is apparently catching up in terms of filming popularity. According to a new insider report, more than 20 reality TV shows are currently being filmed in Alaska, covering such varied topics as unusual jobs, dating in Alaska or surviving in the wilderness.
When you think about it, it makes sense. Off the top of my head, I can think of numerous shows that are filmed in the state, including Ice Road Truckers, Gold Rush, Ultimate Survival Alaska, Bering Sea Gold andDeadliest Catch all film on or off the shores of Alaska. In fact, it’s the latter show that kicked off Alaska’s popularity—at least when it comes to reality TV.
According to Aljazeera America, around the time Deadliest Catch became popular in 2005, the state put together a tax incentive program to bring in more film crews. It was expected that this would bring more jobs to Alaska, but the outlet reports it has just brought in film crews from out of state. And with the film producers and cameramen come more and more ridiculous reality programs. That’s how we ended up with ridiculous fodder like Alaskan Women Looking for Love. It’s also how more than 20 reality shows are currently filming in a state that is home to only 735,000 people.
TV producer Michael Bergstrom even claims that Alaska has more shows per capita than anywhere else in the US.
“We have such a low population density and so many shows, it is probably the most highly saturated in the country.”
Beyond the tax credit, it makes sense that the general population in the United States would be interested in Alaskan jobs and Alaskan people. After all, Alaska isn’t a place the average Joe gets to spend a lot of time in. It’s a long boat ride or an expensive plane ticket away, and it’s dark or practically dark in the state for a good chunk of the year. That’s not even getting into the weather. More importantly, though, Alaska is a place that still seems to have a lot of frontier, a lot of wild and unexplored places that are very different from the cities and suburbs, as well as some of the rural areas, that most Americans live in.
It’s no surprise that people are interested in shows set in Alaska. It’s just too bad that the name of the game with reality is to not be so realistic, after all.