New Docu-Series Premiering July 20th at 11pm Follows Students as they Come Together for an Event that Spurs them to Reveal Who They Really Are Beyond the Cliques, Clubs and Confines of High School Life. MTV’s new docu-series “If You Really Knew Me” goes inside high schools across the country to discover what can happen when students peel back their public personas, break out of their cliques and show their peers who they really are. Premiering on Tuesday, July 20, at 11pm, each episode visits a different school, following five students as they tear down the walls that divide them through a transformative one-day program, “Challenge Day.” Reminiscent of the film “The Breakfast Club”, this real life series goes beneath the surface and behind the labels, ultimately uniting these students as they surprise each other with illuminating yet sometimes difficult truths about their lives.
“If You Really Knew Me” is an incredibly authentic and compelling docu-series that takes us on a 24 hour journey through a high school’s social transformation. It shows us what happens when kids from various cliques decide to break down the walls that divide them and commit to change,” said Tony DiSanto, President of Programming for MTV. “It’s an intense and dramatic experience, but ultimately uplifting and universally relatable for all of us who have gone through high school or are about to.”
Each episode takes place at a different high school with its own set of issues and its own unique set of cliques. In the series premiere, viewers go inside a Northern California school divided by race and cliques, a symptom of a newly-diverse student body that has grown from 500 to 2,400 students in just 10 years. As the season progresses, the show profiles a variety of schools struggling with everything from cyberbullying to small town rumor mills. Viewers learn that all of the young people profiled are striving to make the best of their high school years, while experiencing many of the same doubts and fears that are part of being a teenager. Deep down, all of these students want to be accepted for who they really are.
“Of all the programs I’ve ever filmed that help young people, Challenge Day is the most impressive and effective,” said Arnold Shapiro of Arnold Shapiro Productions. “Bringing MTV and Challenge Day together for this life-changing series has resulted in some of the most rewarding, amazing and uplifting hours I’ve ever produced.”
“If You Really Knew Me” illuminates the power and strength that young people have when they share and connect in a vulnerable and authentic way,” said Jaime Polson, Chief Executive Officer of Challenge Day. “We truly believe that this series has the power to transform people’s lives, and by working with MTV and Arnold Shapiro Productions, we’re able to bring Challenge Day to even more people across the country.”
As the series progresses, “If You Really Knew Me” touches on a number of issues young people struggle with today, from mental health to cyberbullying. On-air and online, MTV will connect viewers to information and resources for many of the topics addressed in the show, often integrating the network’s core public education initiatives including A THIN LINE, which aims to empower young people to stop the spread of digital abuse; Half of Us, MTVU’s Peabody Award-winning campaign to fight stigma around mental health; and It’s Your (Sex) Life, MTV’s Emmy and Peabody-winning partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation to encourage young people to make responsible decisions about their sexual health. (Source: MTV)