What do you get when you mix three guys, their mothers, and 32 attractive single women in one Santa Barbara mansion? NBC’s newest reality show Momma’s Boys, which was filmed right here in our own backyard and which premieres December 16.
The show pits a bevy of beautiful young women against each other to win the affections of one of three eligible bachelors. The catch here is that these women must also contend with the bachelors’ mothers. If the advertisements for the show are any indication, these mothers just might have some big personalities, overbearing tendencies, and a very particular idea of what kind of women they’d like to see their sons end up with. “It’s a new twist on the old favorite dating show,” explained Geoff Alexander, Santa Barbara County film commissioner. There are many reality shows out there right now, but Alexander said he expects a great reaction to this one, in large part because the show is produced by Andrew Glassman, whose previous credits include Average Joe, another NBC reality show that managed to draw 22 million viewers for its finale.
The production contacted the office of the Santa Barbara County Film Commission during their search for a place to shoot the show. They were seeking a place that could provide an environment that was healthy and active, not too snobby, and with lots of romantic atmosphere. “We turned them on to local wineries, kayaking, and cycling,” Alexander explained. “The mandate of the Film Commission is to market Santa Barbara County as a desirable location for all modes of production.”
Often unbeknownst to locals, various productions are constantly moving through the county, notably commercials, and car commercials in particular. “They just love our roads,” Alexander said. Photographers also frequent Santa Barbara for catalogues. For example, a 30-day shoot for Restoration Hardware just finished, Alexander said, and Ralph Lauren, Crate & Barrel, and Donna Karan have each previously used Santa Barbara as the backdrop to showcase their goods.
However, what clinched Santa Barbara as the setting for Momma’s Boys over competing locations like Laguna Beach and Newport was that Santa Barbara Location Services were able to secure the use of a mansion. With a homebase that could be filmed around-the-clock in place, it was full speed ahead for the guys and the girls to date their way through State Street, the Santa Barbara Harbor, and the Santa Ynez Valley. “The moms were sometimes there, sometimes not,” Alexander commented on the filming. “And they would show up in the darndest places.”
Of course, any of what is featured in a reality show only represents a small portion of what was filmed, so Santa Barbara residents will have to watch for themselves to see if their favorite haunts will be popping up on the small screen. Alexander said he didn’t know what would make the final cut and, in an effort to preserve the show’s surprises, he wasn’t allowed to see a preview. “Let’s just say that one or two of the momma’s boys lived up to the title, there was a trip to the hospital involved,” he teased.
Momma’s Boys premieres on NBC on Tuesday, December 16, at 10 p.m.