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Behind The Hooks For Catfish: The TV Show

Nev Schulman, host of Catfish: The TV Show on MTV
Host Nev Schulman on MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show

Over the last seven years, MTV has been host to Catfish: The TV Show, a reality show uncovering the true identities of people’s online relationships. Hosted by Nev Schulman, the series is based on a film of the same name. Catfish (2010) follows Nev’s own journey with an online relationship that wasn’t what it seemed. The film coined the term catfishing: to lure someone into a relationship by means of a fake online persona.

“Now hundreds of episodes deep, we have an open and collaborative creative process with the team that allows us to create custom music catered to their needs.”

Ricky Holman, Director of Licensing at Flavorlab

Flavorlab Producer’s Toolbox has been an active contributor to the subsequent reality show’s dynamic soundtrack. To date, Producer’s Toolbox has placed 70 of our composers on Catfish. There are roughly 250 of our tracks on the show, which have been utilized in 355 separate cuts. This results in nearly 2.5 hours of total runtime.

“What I love about creating for Catfish is the challenge. It’s edgy, requiring the music be an emotional support while still staying out of the way to create space.”

Chris Justice, Producer’s Toolbox Composer

Unlike many reality TV shows, Catfish embraces the emotionally unclear. “Our composers really show their versatility with this show, writing across multiple genres and palettes to keep up with each episode’s constant twists and turns,” Ricky says of the Toolbox. Often subjects find themselves caught between feelings of bliss and betrayal, relief and sadness, or just plain confusion. The nefarious nature of a fake online persona can make even the most joyous reunions a little sour. “It’s so unique in its use of texture, effects, ambient guitar, and space. This adds to the challenge when figuring out which details will best serve a scene,” adds Chris. As the show gears up for another season of investigation, heartbreak, and friendship, our talented composers get back to churning out a new, diverse batch of cues.

You can catch the show Wednesday at 8/7c on MTV