'Trick My Truck' greenlighted for second season on CMT

| Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Chrome Shop Mafia has a few more tricks up its sleeve – 12 more, to be exact.

On Wednesday, March 1, the Country Music Television network announced that it is picking up “Trick My Truck,” a reality series that showcases gorgeous makeovers of owner-operators’ trucks, for a second season.

Todd Lewis, producer and director of “Trick My Truck,” told Land Line that the second season will be expanded to 12 episodes – four more than the first season – and will debut sometime in the fall.

“We’re doing 12 in the same time frame of four and a half months, so it’s quite a feat that we’re going to try to pull off,” Lewis said.

Once again, the Mafia will descend on 4 State Trucks in Joplin, MO, where the trucks will be torn down, repainted and given jaw-dropping customizations. Lewis said casting for the second season is already underway, but truckers who are interested in applying for the show can still send their stories to the show’s producers at CMT’s Web site, www.cmt.com, or mail them to:

Varuna Films
Attn: TMT Submissions
8489 West Third Street #1027
Los Angeles, CA. 90048

All submissions must contain the following information:

  • A story from a family member of why their driver needs their truck tricked;
  • A recent photo of a family member or members and the driver (together or separate);
  • A recent photo of the truck (inside and out);
  • Current city and state in which the driver lives, and info about the driver’s routes possibly going through Joplin, Mo;
  • Make, year, miles and condition of the truck; and
  • Contact information.

“We’re shooting everything in Joplin,” Lewis said. “As far as casting goes, we’re moving pretty quickly on that. I’m sure that a few OOIDA members will be picked.”

According to a press release, the premiere of “Trick My Truck” was the highest-rated regularly scheduled premiere in the history of CMT. However, it has not been without its criticism.

Lewis said he is aware of the show’s detractors, who’ve said the half-hour format and strictly cosmetic makeovers don’t allow for any improvement of the trucks’ engines or mechanical parts. He said the show was originally shot as an hour-long program that included engine and mechanical work, but was scaled back after it tested poorly in front of audiences.

“The people wanted it shorter, and they didn’t want to see the mechanic and engine work,” he said. “So thanks to 50 people in a focus group, we now have a half-hour, cosmetic – but fun – show.”

Lewis said the show would also still use the same basic formula, in which a driver is “ambushed” at a truck stop by the Mafia and given a loaner truck while his own rig is revitalized – despite the fact that some television critics have called the scenes unrealistic.

“My guys aren’t actors. When you’re dealing with non-actors delivering lines, it has a tendency to sound corny.” Lewis said. “If you’re watching television, you’ve got to be able to suspend some kind of reality. We don’t expect to make everybody happy, but we do expect to entertain everybody.”

Despite the criticism, Lewis said he believes the show has been a success in the eyes of professional truckers.

“We paid the truckers the respect that they deserve,” Lewis said. “I think they love the fact that there’s somebody out there who’s putting them in a good light and repaying them for the hard work that they do.”

Lewis said he’s also been surprised at the feedback he’s received from families, a group that’s outside of the show’s main demographic.

“I think it’s a show that the whole family can sit down and watch,” Lewis said. “And parents feel comfortable letting their kids watch it – that’s not something you can say about a lot of the MTV shows.”

– By Aaron Ladage, staff writer
aaron_ladage@landlinemag.com

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