Another year is almost over, and it was a strong one for The Challenge. We saw the third All Stars season, an investment in global editions of the show, and Ride or Dies was filmed and premiered on MTV. So, will 2023 have the same successes?
My guess: We’ll see a strong investment with some hesitations.
Here are seven predictions I have for the new year. They could be dead wrong, but they do align with discussions and trends I’ve seen emerge in 2022.
Prediction 1: All Stars returns with fewer OGs
If season 3 was any indication, All Stars is trying to recreate the magic of The Challenge in 2016, not the show in 2006. While this will result in more competitive people coming onto the spinoff, it also means we’ll see fewer people who helped birth the series. But, it looks like All Stars 4 is happening, and people who originate from Are You the One were contacted. This might make the upcoming season more competitive, but it will diminish the charm that made the show so endearing when it started.
Prediction 2: More International Installments
Despite The Challenge’s international installments getting lukewarm to disastrous ratings, it seems like more installments are coming to other countries. Why? Likely because the franchise wants to beef up streaming content and hopes to find a nation that will flock to the show like the US has. The Challenge has over 40 editions in the US (counting spinoffs), but hadn’t chartered to international waters until the Australian edition. What other reality show waits that long?
Prediction 3: The Real World Sits in Limbo
It feels like The Real World always crawls its way back to relevancy in small capacities, but 2023 doesn’t seem like it’ll do any favors for the show. I doubt we’ll see another season of Homecoming or another flagship installation.
Prediction 4: Few Surprising Returns
On the flagship Challenge, I wouldn’t expect any jaw-dropping returns. On Ride or Dies, Turbo was the biggest surprise and he nearly wasn’t even cast. We also had Veronica and Jordan, but both of them appeared on All Stars 3. I’d expect to see a couple of people make a comeback, but no one too shocking. Perhaps someone like Theo, who’s on The Challenge: Global, or Kam, who took a hiatus to have a baby.
Prediction 5: CT’s “Big” Return
Despite having just won Spies, Lies and Allies, CT will be in financial preservation mode due to his divorce. The solution is to return to his trusty paycheck from The Challenge — perhaps even on All Stars.
Prediction 6: Fewer Newbies
It feels like it might be time that production realizes that fans don’t want to see casts packed with 50% newbies, and season 39 will likely have fewer rookies jump on board. Instead, we’ll see people who debuted on Spies, Lies and Allies or Ride or Dies return, as well as a couple people make the jump from a “global” spinoff onto the flagship show. There will be some newbies, possibly from recognizable shows like Big Brother or Survivor, but we’ll also see a higher number of people competing for their second or third times.
Prediction 7: Season 40 Brings Massive Speculation
We know season 39 is happening, but season 40 is up-in-the-air, though it’s very likely to happen (because what else does MTV have?). So, fans will expect a monumental season that could change the direction of the franchise. Will we get it? Possibly, but I wouldn’t expect it to film in 2023. If it does, it’ll be toward the end of the year. Most likely, season 39 will be the only one on MTV in 2023.