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‘Growing up Gold Coast’ Reality Show Casting on LI


Chris Dunn, Jill Nicolini and Jim Kelly judge a casting call for "Growing Up Gold Coast," a new reality show about Long Island (Courtesy of Chris Dunn)

Long Island will soon add one more reality show to its resume.

Chris Dunn, president of LI-based production company Lilly and Sophie Enterprises, held auditions for “Growing up Gold Coast” last week, with more than 100 hopefuls trying out for a spot in the show. Dunn hopes to make it less “Jersey Shore” and more “The Hills” for LI.


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“People think its overdue,” said Dunn, 29.  “That’s why we’re making it happen here.”

The show will follow in the footsteps of prior LI-based reality shows like “Growing Up Gotti,” documenting the lives of local mafia offspring, and “Growing Up Twisted,” which starred the family of Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider, who lives in East Setauket.

“Growing up Gold Coast” will feature eight to 10 people living all around Long Island, not in the same house, Dunn said. It will chronicle the personal lives of young adults and their careers, but Dunn said it won’t be like other reality shows that center around young people partying and fighting with each other.

The show is “not just [about] parties and everything, and just stupidity,” Dunn said.  “That’s not what we’re really going for.”

He said the show is in negotiations with different networks to call home.

As for the cast, they all must have: “interesting stories, interesting lives, and convey that good to the camera,” he said. “At the end of the day it’s very important that they have a personality.”

During last week’s auditions, Dunn said they had a guy who was one of the runners-up for “Jersey Shore” show up and rip his shirt off.  Two girls who are best friends—and used to date—walked in handcuffed. A go-go dancer showed up as well as musicians, comedians and actors.

“We really got a lot of interesting people,” he said.

Judging the auditions at 841 East Lounge in Huntington were Dunn, Jill Nicolini of WPIX-TV Ch. 11 and Jim Kelly. Contestants had to be between the ages of 21-31.

Dunn said the show may hold another casting call at a later date, but he hopes to start taping in June. And although the show is titled “Growing up Gold Coast,” judges wouldn’t rule out casting somebody that isn’t from Long Island.

That can “stir things up,” he said. They can be an “X-factor.”

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