Reality TV Ruining Marriages? Not the Brunsons

brunsonsJon and Kate are a trainwreck, The Hogans filed for divorce and most of The Bachelor fairy tale endings head down the drain instead of down the aisle.  Has reality TV become a marriage-wrecker?  Not so, says Jon Brunson and his wife Gina, stars of the reality hit Addicted to the Outdoors presented by Limbsaver on The Outdoor Network.  Unlike most reality TV couples, the cameras have actually brought them and their family closer together.

Jon and Gina have been together for 18 years and both have a lifelong passion for the outdoors.  Their passion ultimately led them to the TV in 2004 when they created JBO Production Inc. and experimented with reality TV programming.  They created award-winning shows and other great shows such as Country Boys Outdoors featuring Chicago Bulls center Brad Miller.  Three years later, they turned the cameras on themselves and packed their lives into a RV to create what would become the hit show Addicted to the Outdoors.

The show has been a key to their happiness and success - both on- and off-camera.

read more about Addicted to the Outdoors...
The biggest difference between Jon and Gina and other reality TV couples is that Jon and Gina have their own production company and produce their own show, so they have 100 percent control over how their lives are presented.  Control is the key.

"There's a couple of common threads that turn these reality shows into disasters," Jon explains.  "One, when people let cameras into their homes, they don't realize that they're giving up control of their lives.  Second, most of these people are partnering with a major production company, so other people are dictating and shaping the story.  Their job is to create an entertaining product and the producers will key in on things that will sell.  They don't think about the long-term aspects.  Nobody is going to look out for your family as well as you will.  You're really giving up control and most producers won't have your family's best interest in mind."

In addition, the members of The Brunsons' camera crew have worked closely with them for years, so the crew has a keen understanding of The Brunsons' lives and ground rules.

Reality TV has also strengthened Jon and Gina's relationship with their six children who range in age from 5 to 16.  When the kids are not in school, they'll make an occasional cameo appearance on the show, but their lives are generally no different than their non-TV classmates.

 "The show has definitely brought us closer together," Gina says. "We're able to spend a lot more time together and with our kids too because we don't have 9-to-5 jobs.  Of course, we have some periods when we're traveling, but if you look at the overall time spent with the kids, we spend a ton of time together.  Even when we're on the road, we're constantly in touch."

Until now, the kids have spent most of their time off-camera, but there's more to life than just being in touch with the outdoors.  There's all of the very real moments in-between and their lives behind the camera.  The Brunsons are experimenting with Meet the Brunsons, a second, behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to produce reality TV shows (Both their own and others) while raising six kids and maintaining a healthy marriage.

"We talked to our kids about the idea of creating a show around our entire family and they're very excited about it," Jon says.  "This will definitely be a learning experience for us.  But we're very conscious about privacy.  Once again, one of the biggest differences between us and other reality TV families is that, if it's not comfortable for our kids, we can shut it down in a minute because we control the content and the project."

For more information about Jon and Gina and Addicted to the Outdoors, not to mention some great web extras and contests, visit  Watch Addicted to the Outdoors three times a week on The Outdoor Channel on Saturdays at 10:30 am EST, Thursdays at 6 pm EST and Sundays at 7 am EST.  Watch for the first episode of Meet the Brunsons as a webisode on their website coming in August.

-press release

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