Since 1987, television networks and viewers have looked to Bunim/Murray Productions for groundbreaking, unprecedented and unforgettable reality entertainment. The Emmy® Award-winning company is widely credited with creating the reality television genre with its hit series The Real World (31 seasons for MTV). BMP continued to innovate with the first reality game show, Road Rules (MTV), in 1995; the first reality sitcom, The Simple Life (E!), in 2003; and the first reality soap opera, Starting Over, in 2003.
Whether documenting the lives and loves of the MTV generation or writing scripted dramas grounded in relatable life experiences, BMP is continually expanding its innovative body of work across primetime, syndicated and cable television, feature films, documentary films, digital and social media platforms.
Company Founders Mary-Ellis Bunim, who had worked in soap operas and Jonathan Murray, who had built his career in news and documentaries, first joined forces for Crime Diaries (Quintex), a dramatic detective series and American Families (FOX), a six-part reality series. Aware that MTV was interested in launching its own soap opera, Bunim and Murray pitched an alternative serial drama that combined the elements of soap opera and documentary, a recipe for what is recognized today as reality television.
The first series based on this original recipe, The Real World, launched on MTV in June 1992 and chronicled the lives of seven young people living together in a house. The series has since become a part of the world’s cultural DNA.
In January 2004, BMP Co-Founder Mary-Ellis Bunim passed away. Under the leadership of company Co-Founder Jonathan Murray and Chairman and CEO Gil Goldschein, BMP remains committed to the ideals of creativity, adventure and excellence.
In March 2007, Bunim/Murray launched BMP Films. The company’s first film, Autism: The Musical, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2007 to critical acclaim and garnered audience awards at major film festivals across the country. The film premiered on HBO in March 2008 to rave reviews and won two Emmys®. In September 2008, BMP Films debuted Pedro, its first scripted feature-length film, at the Toronto International Film Festival. BMP Films’ Valentine Road was an official selection in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. It was also awarded a prestigious Ford Foundation Grant. The Ford Foundation grant program aims to help projects that focus on reducing poverty and injustice; promoting democratic values; and advancing human knowledge, creativity and achievement. The documentary premiered on HBO in October 2013.
The company joined Banijay Group in 2010.
Over the past two decades, Bunim/Murray has won numerous awards and industry accolades, including Primetime and Daytime Emmys, TV Guide Awards, New York Festival Medals as well as People’s Choice and Teen Choice Awards.
Jonathan Murray and the late Mary-Ellis Bunim were inducted into the Television Academy of Arts & Science’s Hall of Fame in 2012.