MTV's "The Real World" returning to San Francisco for season 29

The Season 28 cast of MTV's "The Real World" in Portland, Ore. MTV

"The Real World" is going back to the City by the Bay.

The MTV reality series has been renewed for an upcoming 29th season and will be set in San Francisco, according to Variety, marking the show's return to the city after 20 years.

The third season of "The Real World," which premiered in 1994, was set in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, and is remembered to this day as one of the series' most prolific seasons.

Solidifying the show as an MTV staple, season 3 included memorable cast members such as Puck and Pedro Zamora, a Cuban-American gay rights activist who died from AIDS in 1994. Zamora's partner Sean Sasser, who appeared in multiple episodes, died on Aug. 7 from mesothelioma. The couple has been credited with helping to bring the HIV/AIDS epidemic into the national spotlight.

Returning the series to San Francisco represents a big risk for the show's producers.

Created in 1992 by Jonathan Murray and Mary-Ellis Bunim (who died from breast cancer in 2004), "The Real World" has been in a ratings spiral as of late. Once a fixture of pop culture, many viewers now see the show as stale and formulaic. The most recent season, set in Portland, was barely able to crack a million viewers per episode.

Because of its setting, the 29th season will undoubtedly be compared to the third season, when the show was at its peak.

Depending on the ratings, there's also the possibility that this could be the series' last season.

Season 29 of "The Real World" is expected to air at some point in 2014.

Tell us: Do you still watch "The Real World"?

  • Ken Lombardi On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.

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