Every week, we get numerous questions seeking information about how to audition for various reality shows. There are just too many shows for us to possibly cover them all, but here is some of the basic information for the most popular shows. If we've missed your favorite, try a Google search for the show's official site, that often has application information.
Please note: Not all shows are accepting applications or holding auditions all year round. We get asked about "American Idol" a lot, but that show is in the middle of a season right now, and no audition information will be released until summer at the earliest. In some cases below, the show in question has closed casting. But we'll often still include a link — you never know if a certain show will add audition dates, or use the same URL for the next season's application. Also, please note that you're responsible for reading every bit of the application carefully.
Readers regularly ask us for tips on how to get cast. Our best advice: Watch the show and observe the current casts. That's what the shows are looking for. And let's face it, casting directors want good TV, so they don't want boring. Watching just one episode of "Real World" will show you that they often want to pigeonhole cast members as "The Wild One," or "The Virgin," or "The Loudmouth." It certainly depends on the show, and we're not saying we endorse pigeonholing or stereotyping in real life, but that seems to be how people get cast. —G.F.C.
"American Idol": No auditions now, check in late summer. Or check information under or for the unnamed .
"America's Next Top Model": Does not appear to be casting currently.
"Amazing Race": . Looks like January 20 was the due date, but bookmark the site for future.
"America's Got Talent": Simon Cowell's latest star-making show comes to NBC this summer.
"Apprentice": Open call dates have been posted for the next season, the first to be shot in L.A.
"The Bachelor": to be "The Bachelor" or to chase him.
“The Biggest Loser”: Casting for season three has ended, but for future.
"Big Brother": Application is here.
"Deal or No Deal": This is really a game show, but .
"Extreme Makeover" (plastic surgery version): An , but at press time, the deadline had passed.
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition": A memo has been leaked that mentions specific issues the show is looking for in families.
"Hell's Kitchen": Audition info is here.
"Last Comic Standing": Returning for fourth season, it looks like application deadline may have passed. The page that once hosted application information now has .
"Miracle Workers": is here.
“Project Runway”: , but unless Bravo adds more dates, looks like the last deadline has passed.
"The Real World": , for casting info, click on YOU and scroll down to "Real World."
“Rock Star”: Looks like applications for the were .
"So You Think You Can Dance": Dates have passed for the audition dates listed, but in case FOX adds more, .
"Supernanny": Information application here (.pdf).
"Survivor": Updated: June 16, 2006 is next deadline,
"Trading Spouses": Application and open casting call info here.
"What Not to Wear": Application is here.
"Wife Swap": Application here.
Other shows:ABC Music Project: Because everyone wants to compete with "American Idol." .
MTV has a ton of reality shows looking for cast members. One of them is a show looking for someone to work at Rolling Stone, and has .
VH1 has a couple of shows, too.
Q: What happened to MTV's "Road Rules"? —J
A: MTV’s Road Rules officially went on hiatus at the beginning of last year. Thirteen seasons of the show were produced, but then it disappeared off the radar. That , it seemed, was cancellation.
However, the show may soon get a second life back on MTV. The show’s producer, Bunim-Murray Productions, recently launched a spin-off company called M Theory Entertainment that will produce content for platforms such as the web and cell phones. On the company’s newly launched web site, there’s new information about “Road Rules”’ future.
The show “is being developed to return to the network in a newly designed format which will allow the viewer to play a role in both competitions and the fate of players via broadband and mobile technology,” according to the site. What does that mean?
We have no idea, since Bunim-Murray did not respond to a request for more information. There’s also no word of a possible return date. If the show does return, hopefully it’ll be sooner than later, because those “Real World/Road Rules Challenges” could really use some new blood. —A.D.
Q: Please tell me something about “Cash Cab,” on the Discovery Channel. Have they filmed new shows because I am running into repeats now? —Kim
A: A Discovery Channel spokesperson told us that "viewers can expect new episodes later this spring and into the summer." There's a . —G.F.C.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is MSNBC.com's Television Editor. is a writer and teacher who publishes , a daily summary of reality TV news.