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Competitors both new and old made their way to Siesta Key on May 6, for the 45th annual Amateur Sand Sculpture Contest.
Siesta Key Monday, May 8, 2017 4 years ago

Siesta Key slated for MTV reality show

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The network this week officially announced an unscripted show based on the barrier island.
by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

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Last night, during the MTV Movie & TV Awards, Siesta Key was again thrust into the national spotlight.

In a commercial, the network announced a new unscripted series based on the barrier island, which was previously reported by the trade magazine Adweek. The premise of “Siesta Key” is “about a group of kids in an elite Florida enclave who return home for the summer after spending their freshman year in college,” according to the publication’s April 16 profile of MTV President Chris McCarthy.

“I remember every year we would get the calls from people saying they heard MTV is coming to Siesta. And I would always tell them that no, MTV was not coming to Siesta — I guess I can’t say that anymore.” — Visit Sarasota County President Virginia Haley

MTV spokesman Jason Shumaker confirmed the show would debut in July.

The announcement comes five years after the Siesta Key Observer announced a casting call for a Key-based reality show in an April Fools edition of the newspaper, and follows a string of accolades for Siesta Key Beach since 2011.

Visit Sarasota County President Virginia Haley said she can recall the annual rumors that would swirl about MTV planning to host its Spring Break special on Siesta Key. 

“I remember every year we would get the calls from people saying they heard MTV is coming to Siesta,” she said. “And I would always tell them that no, MTV was not coming to Siesta — I guess I can’t say that anymore.”

The new TNT show “Claws,” slated for a June 11 release, was also filmed in the area. The dramedy, about a fictional Manatee County salon, was shot partially on St. Armands Circle. Haley said it’s too soon to tell what effect having the Sarasota-Bradenton area featured in summer shows will have on tourism.

“It really depends on the reach and popularity of the show,” she said.

Readers took to social media Monday, to criticize the network for picking Siesta for the new show.

This is a developing story and more information will be added as it becomes available.

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