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CBS Kennesaw Wall reality show to debut Aug. 9

Gideon Gyamfi guards the Kennesaw homes behind the monstrous TV-made wall for "There Goes My Neighborhood" on CBS. The wall has steel girders but the exterior is not concrete. It's a facade made of canvas. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc/com

Gideon Gyamfi guards the Kennesaw homes behind the monstrous TV-made wall for

Based on the description here, would you do a show like "There Goes the Neighborhood" for $250,000?

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CBS has given that reality show about eight suburban families trapped behind massive prison-like walls in Kennesaw a name (”There Goes the Neighborhood”) and a launch date — August 9.

The show will air for seven weeks as the eight families vie for $250,000. This is less than CBS sister shows “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” ($1 million each) and “Big Brother” ($500,000.)

During a press conference this morning, the show producers Jay Beinstock and Mike Fleiss (best known for creating “The Bachelor’), along with the host Matt Rogers (season three, “American Idol”) stood in the front yard of one of the homes. Beinstock said the families were off filming a challenge elsewhere so we were able to use that backdrop.

They revealed some small details on what life is like for the families, whose names have not been revealed yet. They have no Internet, no cel phones, no contact with the outside world. Some pets that could handle the cameras and such stayed. Others were kenneled or sent to friends. There is no electricity for cooking or for the TV though I think they do get lights. In this sweltering heat, they also get A/C. “We’re not THAT inhumane,” Fleiss said, half-jokingly.

The show took two to three weeks to build the 20-foot-plus walls, then started production June 15. Mayor Mark Mathews said set up was more disruptive to the neighborhood than the actual shoot, which is set to end July 4th weekend.

Off-duty cops patrol the area 24/7, along with private security. No outsiders have attempted to turn the wall into a graffiti-fest a la the old Berlin Wall. That canopy above the wall is on top of one of the houses, enabling cameras to shoot from above. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/

Off-duty cops patrol the area 24/7, along with private security. No outsiders have attempted to turn the wall into a graffiti-fest a la the old Berlin Wall. That canopy above the wall is on top of one of the houses, enabling cameras to shoot from above. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/

The point of the show is to force the families to spend time together so the kids can’t play video games, moms can’t go off to the hair stylist and dads can’t play golf with the buds. The families do suburban-style challenges (probably with props such as lawn mowers and barbecues) to win prizes and to avoid elimination. Ousted families leave the premises and stay sequestered in a hotel for the remainder of the shoot. There are no judges. The families vote each other off. Presumably, at the end, the six eliminated families decide which of the final two families get the $250,000. (This is a good recipe for ending friendships, eh?)

Besides “The Bachelor,” Fleiss has done numerous other reality shows including the upcoming “Bachelor for chubby folks” show “More to Love” on NBC, the current CW show “Hitched or Ditched” and the recent TV Land show “The Cougar.” He said the time to do post-production for this show will be the tightest he’s ever had to contend with. He already has folks working on the first four episodes now.

He also said this was the toughest show he’s ever had to cast because he had to fight families on continguous properties to agree to take three weeks off from their jobs. At least with a show such as TV Land’s “High School Reunion,” he could sub out the lead cheerleader with another cheerleader. In this case, he had very little flexibility.

But Fleiss said he’s thrilled with the diverse casting. He said there are plenty of charismatic characters and it helps the families already know each other well. He said there’s a single mom, an inter-racial couple and a lesbian couple. There are kids as young as six. (No infants, which would certainly have complicated shooting.)

“There Goes the Neighborhood,” which was originally called “Block Party,” will be on at 9 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 20.

I will also post a separate interview I did with host Matt Rogers for the “Idol” blog later this week. And you know I’ll be doing episode recaps of this show for sure.

54 comments Add your comment


June 29th, 2009
2:45 pm

Sounds remarkably stupid.


June 29th, 2009
2:46 pm

That said, I would do the show for $250,000 … not the opportunity to win $250,000. The prize would be on top of the fee.


June 29th, 2009
4:37 pm

TV execs are really running out of ideas…and what exactly are the execs getting paid boatloads of money for? I can come up with a better concept in my sleep than these overpaid vegetables…albeit my ideas would include nude women…


June 29th, 2009
4:39 pm


Sick of it

June 29th, 2009
8:26 pm

Try living in this neighborhood and having to drive past this circus every day. There has not been one single day there hasn’t been delays getting around this.
Not only is it a joke of a show, hopefully all the participants will get enough money to sell and leave the neighborhood, because they don’t have any friends left in here, we are all sick of what they’ve put us through.

Sick of it too

June 29th, 2009
10:53 pm

I could not agree more. I am just waiting for the day that one of the on site attendants becomes a hood ornament because they appear to belive they are on a movie set. I cannot believe there are actually other neighbors who are trying to scrape up sloppy seconds on the 15 seconds of ‘fame’ this show is going to bring. I can’t wait until they pack up all their crap and leave!

Another neighbor

June 29th, 2009
11:51 pm

I also live in this subdivision and I am also sick of the disruption. I also resent the HOA for allowing this with no input from the community members. In fact, this is a violation on the covenants and I think all of us in Annandale should be refunded our HOA dues for the year!!! Where can I sign a petition?


June 30th, 2009
6:20 am


June 30th, 2009
6:56 am

“Sounds remarkably stupid.”

I second that.

ALL Righty then

June 30th, 2009
7:50 am

Who can afford to be out of work for 7 weeks? I know I cant.


June 30th, 2009
7:53 am

Run for your life!!!!!!!!!!


June 30th, 2009
8:14 am

How about this…would the participating families consider the inconvenience imposed upon their fellow Annandale neighbors for their television debut and consider moving their daily drinkfests around to their backyards as a peace offering?


June 30th, 2009
9:03 am

sounds like a whole lot of sour grapes to me – you’re all just pissed that nooone would put you on television

live here

June 30th, 2009
9:09 am

How can it be a positive image for the neighborhood with a title like “There goes the neighborhood”? The HOA needs to either give Annandale a refund for the year or not send another stupid violation letter for 5 years! They have had enough violations in this 7 week period to last for that long.

Let's Communicate

June 30th, 2009
9:15 am

You know, for all the crap they have put all of us through living beyond the wall. I think we should keep up communications “Top Gun” style once the walls come down!

Goose: Communicating.
Maverick: Communicating. Keeping up foriegn relations. You know, giving him the bird!
Goose: [Charlie looks puzzled, so Goose clarifies] You know, the finger
[gestures apprpriately]
Charlie: Yes, I know the finger, Goose.

former Kennesaw res

June 30th, 2009
10:40 am

When we lived in Kennesaw, we thought that Legacy Park was the classy place to raise a family. Now it looks like the “Springer Show” types have a little bit of money and are showing their true colors. Between the crime that many of the renters are bringing in and now this, I’m glad we never made the “investment” in Legacy Park.

Get a life you whiners!!

June 30th, 2009
10:53 am

There are bigger problems going on in life and our world than to complain and whine on line about being inconvenienced and delayed (what for a minute or two max!!). You’re probably the “sue” happy bunch who will somehow claim pain and suffering has occurred over the filming. Get over yourselves! I live in Annandale too and drive by the wall severals times a day… oh well.

LP Resident

June 30th, 2009
3:30 pm

Amen, get a life! what people do with their own property is their own business and really is there that much traffic coming in and out of your tiny neighborhood to warrent all of your complaining? you probably waste more time complaining than actually getting out of your neighborhood.

LP neighbor

June 30th, 2009
3:52 pm

I have problem with the LP HOA for making the decision to allow this monstrosity in our neighborhood without ANY discussion with the residents. A production of this magnitude warrants some sort prior notice other than the letters from CBS. Also, traffic is a big issue especially when the workers stand in the middle of the street and wont move when you try to drive by. Yesterday, one walked out in front of my car and I almost hit him. I’m afraid our neighborhood will be a complete laughing stock when this mess is over.

You Gotta Be Nutz

July 1st, 2009
8:44 am

I’ll bet by the 2nd show no one but those involved tune in. This is a loss loser for cbs.

LP Resident

July 2nd, 2009
9:30 am

7 weeks off from work? Ever hear of vacation time????

Big traffic delays in the neighborhood? Ever had to stop at a red light?

Sick of it: Jealous? Why don’t you move – get a life, please!
No friends left for these people in the neighborhood? You obviously don’t know these people.

Laughing in Smyrna

July 2nd, 2009
4:43 pm

I am sure all the people whining about the traffic delays are just upset because they might miss a few minutes of America’s Got Talent or The Bachelorette. The HOA should have insisted on a huge fee from CBS that would have covered dues for years.


July 2nd, 2009
7:50 pm

So, I’ve learned alot about the Annandale neighbors. What a bunch of whinney people! Are you that bothered by all of this….REALLY? SERIOUSLY? I drive down the street EVERY DAY, the delay if any is ummmmm 10-15 seconds maybe. I believe we have a beautiful neighborhood and the world will soon see it. The show may very well suck, who knows but the fact remains Legacy Park is a great place to live. For those who don’t agree…maybe YOU should move.


July 3rd, 2009
6:36 am

After all it is Kennesaw. You get what you deserve. Maybe all you LP dwellers will shoot each other with your required guns.


July 5th, 2009
2:17 pm

i am too an annandale house owner. all the people whiining about all the traffic and crap is just jealous. this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these people. the HOA and the freaking governer of kennesaw let them do this sorry that all you have to do all day is sit on the computer and bitch about how 20 seconds from driving down the street takes. the noise isnt loud and is bareable and you can get over it. i mean if your so dicusted about how this will make annandale a laughing stock then how about you move. the people doing this reality show probably have more friends than you have ever had and friends will grow over the period of the get a life or shut the hell up

hollie k

July 5th, 2009
10:35 pm

wow…you guys that live there are a bunch of meanies!! especially the springer comment…pretty sad that you guys cant just deal with it and move forward with your lives…it also interests me that you are posting on here…you must have had an interest in it to google it and find this page, not to mention write a nasty post….i would think that from all the extra time it took you to get through traffic and to your lovely homes, you would be doing something else to make up for lost time…just an observation. It would be more interesting to film a show about you kind neighbors instead…i mean seriously the concept of the show is quite interesting…spend more time with your family…i would be honored to have a show with those ideas to be filmed in my neighborhood…cut them a break and quite your complaints…you are only as good as the words that come out of your mouth or mind…clean it up and move on!

hollie k

July 5th, 2009
10:37 pm

and also….i agree with you keith!!


July 7th, 2009
4:32 pm

what a group of haters. just mad you wasnt chosen.feel pleased that you saw a piece of history.wish i had something like that in my neighborhood.just be nice and get over it you cry babies.jealousy is not becoming of grown adults!!!!!!!wah

10+ yrs LP residents

July 9th, 2009
9:12 pm

Typical Legacy Park. When it’s good it’s good for some…when it’s bad, it’s bad for some…when it’s community positive, shut it out…when it strokes some ego’s, bring it on. We’d be out in a heartbeat if we weren’t waiting for our high schooler to finish out with her friends. We will never ever, ever live in a HOA community of any sort ever again and really be wary of Legacy Park and EVERY HOA board that comes around….it’s all self interest…all the time.

annandale resident tired of the haters

July 10th, 2009
11:09 am

All you haters in legacy park please give your increased home owner value proceeds to the contestants, the HOA, and the city for allowing it to happen. All you complainers please move out so that decent people can move in. Did people know that more than one street in Legacy park attempted to get on the show. So if it was so bad why did LP get several entries. Quit crying and if you don’t like it leave. Some of you should be ashamed of your thoughts.


July 11th, 2009
11:40 pm

Keith is a dummy. Cities have mayors not governors.

who cares

July 12th, 2009
10:34 pm

10= years lp residents, you sound like a crying fool, who peed in your cheerios and you do realize you didn’t have to eat them. In your first run on sentence, what does any of that dribble have to do with anything people are talking about in these blogs?

kennesaw teacher

July 12th, 2009
10:47 pm

If Keith is a home owner we are all in trouble. You sound more like a 14 year old that needs to stay in school… and this time stay awake.

LegacyPark Resident

July 14th, 2009
10:37 am

I too live in Legacy Park and passed through this every day. I also work from home two to three days per week and frequently have to run out to the grocerty store, dentist, orthodontist, etc.

The crew was extremely professional! Everyone was extremely nice and polite. Sure there were some disruptions to our daily lives but you people are taking this WAY too far. I seriously doubt that anyone was stuck for more thand 3-5 minutes at any point (with the exception of one announced delay)! There’s a way going one, unemployment is sky high, people are dying of cancer and other incureable diseases and all you can do is get on this site and complain? I mean seariously…what the heck are you guys complaining about? I live 2 houses away from several of the homes. I had to pass through it every day and it never bothered me.

Come on people!!! Get a life and stop complaining about a minor inconveniece for one month of your lives!!!!

It really isn’t that big of a deal.

Current LP-Annadale Resident

July 14th, 2009
10:50 am

This is so embarrassing to read! I ashamed to know that I live amongst such whiners and complainers! Sad, very Sad!!!

It’s a game show, much like the ones many of you watch every night! Get over it!

Lucky Neighborhood???

July 27th, 2009
9:32 pm

My block in Dacula Georgia was interviewed for this show and boy am I glad we turned it down. I said at the meeting that this was probably a show that would destroy an otherwise great and friendly neighborhood!
I can’t wait to watch it though to see just how lucky we truly are to have voted it down!

New LP Resident

July 28th, 2009
1:23 am

We almost bought a home in Annandale less than a year ago, but instead ended up in a different subdivision. How can all of you talk about how crappy your neighbors are and how disgusted with the film crew and such? Do you not realize that your property value COULD go up IF you promote the series, and stop spreading such negativity? Do you not realize that this is an opportunity for you and LP in general? What you spew comes back. If you have everyone thinking that LP is a hell hole, that’s exactly what others are going to think. Our family loves LP, the community…and most of all, our neighbors. You say the HOA did not have meetings about filming? If you would have read the newsletter, you would have seen there were several held. We have met some great people in Annandale…great families. Apparently, like every neighborhood, there are great people…with a few rotten apples scattered in that ruin the barrel.


August 1st, 2009
6:11 pm

I can’t wait to watch the show. I think it’s very exciting and my husband has called this our Sunday night date(watching the show @ 9:00pm of course)For all those so upset and not so upset let me give you an inside secret to someone who was on a reality show(me)and how it was so cray out of control for both parties. When I was in the reality show my husband and children had to defend me because I had no idea what was going out in the real world. Meanwhile I was in a game to win and had to be strong and no matter what happened, remind myself each day why I was here and what I was trying to accomplish. I was the second finalist, but did not win:( Although I did not come home with the money,my family was very proud of me! As a result of the show though, I started reading the bloggs and was disappointed what I read from some of the readers and at the same time I was happy to see so many people were watching each day from their comments. I learned a lot about myself and the outside world when your in a reality show. So I know..get to the point..Life is about exciting challenges and learning as much as you can about others. Lets give our hats off to all the families and remember even though we live in Legacy Park with walls up..that we are all family and I’m looking forward to snuggling up with my husband and watching OUR Legacy Park Families go at it for 250,000..


August 5th, 2009
2:36 am

Just have to point out to all the WHINING residents. Have any of you ever attended an actual HOA meeting? If you did, you would have known about all what you have now lived through.! To all of the complainers, I might add. Something like this just does not happen over night. Word of the show had to have been posted to the residents . Y’all had a chance to ban together at an HOA meeting to voice your disapproval of the show coming to your neighborhood. Maybe some did but guess all those apposed did not enact the “power in numbers” clause. Also had y’all not gotten your point across to the HOA you had a second chance at your town council meeting that takes place every week. If no one shows up to contest the permit the show applied they will surely grant one without hesitating. So don’t go asking for free dues and what not until you stop sitting behind you computer and use some of the free tools to get your concerns out there! For those of you that tried GREAT! Those of you that whined from behind their pc’s, Shut Up and Suck it up!!! How much you wanna make a bet that the whiners all watch the show without missing a single episode.


August 9th, 2009
11:32 pm

Why anyone would agree to do this type of realty show is beyond me. Yes, you might win $250,000 but is it worth it to maybe make enemies of the neighbors you were so close to? It’s not like Big Brother or Survivor, where, after the show is done shooting, you can go home and never see those fellow contestants again if you don’t want to.

Yo Yo Ma ma)

August 10th, 2009
12:01 am

All reality shows are beyond stupid. Plus, they don’t have to pay any writers. I will not buy any products which finance these programs.


August 10th, 2009
12:41 am

You You Ma ma), reality shows may be stupid, but you are incorrect that they’re not paying any writers. You can get good technical and operations crews in a reality show to produce good video, but that video is meaningless unless you have skilled editors who can manipulate that video to create what is still episodic television. Those editors are writers, union certified. Also, I hate to get my digs in here but since the sponsors of network television shows sponsor pretty much everything else, you’re obviously not boycotting anything.


August 10th, 2009
9:14 am

From the looks of the first show, it would appear the writers had chosen the Nelson’s to win the muddy t-shirt contest.

The scaffolding on their house was up before they’d opened their locker!

Well, so much for continuity…


August 10th, 2009
9:25 am

Correction: The scaffolding on the Nelson house was up before the water was even turned on.
You don’t suppose some of the show has been filmed out of sequence? The writers were probably kept busy writing the reenactments!


August 10th, 2009
10:18 am

Im a little curious here, just watched the first show and they say there are 8 families competing in the show but no matter what angle they show the houses from the air I see only 6 houses inside that wall. They have shown aerial footage from different angles and I still count only 6 houses for 8 families to live in.
I have rewatched the footage several times………..
Whats going on here, would love to hear from someone that actually lives in the neighborhood, If that is a real neighborhood ???


August 10th, 2009
12:15 pm

there are three houses walled in across the street – two to the left of the six and one to the right – I have heard that one of the families in the six houses together was not interested (or able) to participate & was ‘holed-away’ by CBS for the duration of filming
please correct me if this is incorrect info


August 10th, 2009
12:54 pm

Thanks for the info…….
Really………. thats the first I have heard of that. They don’t tell us that information at all, they make it seem that the families houses are all on that one side of the block and they all live there……. so that means they are not all togetehr on one side of the sreet living together and have to leave and go across the street to their own homes…… sort of mutes the whole point of the game then because some families do leave the compound to go to their homes across the street. funny how they didn’t mention that on the show that there are other homes blocked acroos the street. and I didn’t see it on cbs website

Rodney Ho

August 10th, 2009
2:00 pm

Yes. If you see an overhead shot of the homes, you’ll see the other three homes across the street. The TV show itself artfully edits those out. And yes, one family refused to participate and was paid to take a three-week vacation.


August 10th, 2009
11:30 pm

Rodney, Thnaks for the info, So i need to see a over head shot of the whole neighborhood and I can see the other houses but cbs is just showing us the group of 6 together, they must think people are dumb and can’t count and figure out there are not 8 houses in a row……
where did you get your information from ?

mac n cheese

August 16th, 2009
10:19 pm

When a family gets kicked off the game, where do they go when their house is on the same side where they are playing the game? This show is soo crazy. They don’t know what to do with reality TV any more.