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September 4, 2015

'Jersey Shore' Creator SallyAnn Salsano on Her New Spike Show 'Repo Games'

by Jean Bentley, posted Apr 26th 2011 3:00PM
Repo GamesSallyAnn Salsano is fully aware of how ridiculous her new show, 'Repo Games,' sounds.

"This show is so wrong it's right, you know what I mean? It comes totally back around," she told AOL TV. "It's so good, I can't even tell you."

'Repo Games' (premieres Tuesday, April 26, 8PM ET on Spike) follows two real-life repo men, Josh Lewis and Tom DeTone, as they offer the owners of actual vehicles up for repossession the chance to win their cars back via a basic trivia game.

Salsano, otherwise known as the creator of 'Jersey Shore,' describes the series as such: "It's kind of like repo meets 'Cash Cab' meets 'Jeopardy!' meets 'Cops' meets Jaywalking, and then give it a couple of drinks."

Yep, sounds kind of amazing to us, too.

AOL TV: What can you tell us about 'Repo Games'?
SallyAnn Salsano: A lot of times when you're watching a reality show, even as a producer, you know what's going to happen. On this show, unlike most reality shows ... you don't know who your cast members are. We don't know anything. We roll up to someone's door and we're like "Come on, snake eyes!" You don't know what's coming up. We're on pins and needles, and I hope that comes across in the show.

Are people excited to win their cars back?
It's interesting because normally you're trying to give away a new car, and people get super stoked. In this case, we had people playing for their own, actual cars. If they win, they win back their old car, which I actually think is a bigger thing. If you're winning a new car, it's like "Ah that's kind of nice." But if you're in a space in life where you're just stuck in a rut, this is a push [people] need to feel like their luck is turning around. We hear that win or lose.

People say to us, "You must feel so bad because you do have to take some of the cars." We've been about 50/50, I would say about 50 percent of the people have won Repo Games and 50 percent have lost. That being said, when we show up at their house, they've already lost. It can't get any worse. So it's like we're just giving them a chance to win. Nobody, when we leave, is in a bad space.

Wallace Tries To Keep Her Car From Being Repo'd
Tags: Wallace Tries To Keep Her Car From Being Repo'd

How did you find the hosts?
We didn't call up UTA and William Morris and say, "Send me a bunch of host reels." We literally went out to repo garages and found repo guys. [When you're repossessing a car,] normally it's in the middle of the night, you never put a name with a face, and these people never have a chance. So the [hosts are] excited because they get to give people a second chance. They feel like people have a shot. "I was taking this car anyway, and now a lot people are walking away with their whole world changing."

What are the repo men like?
They're like big, giant burly men. They're both ginormous. They could flip me over their shoulder and put me in a sewer and no one would know ... [but they're also] kind of like giant teddy bears. They are rooting for the contestants. They constantly refer to themselves as the repo Santa Claus. When people get pissed off, they're like, "This is like Christmas. How many times do people show up on your lawn and say 'I'm gonna pay off your car?' Has this ever happened to you before?" That's what generally calms people down. A lot of times they don't believe us.

What kinds of questions do you ask the contestants?
It's like Jaywalking meets 'Jeopardy!' There's all different categories -- food and drink, geography, arts and entertainment, pop culture, history -- like if you were playing a game of Trivial Pursuit.

Q&A With Josh And Tom
Tags: Q&A With Josh And Tom

For the most part are people happy to have you guys there?
Well, I wouldn't always say initially. When we roll up to their house and hook their car up to a repo truck, people aren't always thanking us. It's so funny, because some people just surrender their stuff. They're like, "Just take it, we've been waiting. We knew."

Everyone [else] swears that they just sent in the money. They just paid it, they just happen to not be able to find the receipt. They just paid cash, so they don't have a record of it. It's kind of fun to hear the stories, and once we're like "Dude, we know you didn't pay it," they're like "Alright, what do we do now?"

It's funny to see how creative people get to try and keep their stuff. It's interesting, because it is a show about human nature. Every single person reacts differently. Some people are super friendly, some girls try to flirt their way out of it, some women try and threaten their way out of it. I'd say the women are crazier than the guys, that's for sure. I can't explain it. It sounds like people would say "this sounds so crazy and so awful," but it's one of those shows you can't stop watching.

What are you watching?
Oh my God, 'Mob Wives.' I'm so into it. That's so good. 'Sister Wives.' I'm a huge fan of 'Sister Wives,' and I love 'Storage Wars' so much. You know what, I'm kind of into 'Heavy' and I love 'Hoarders.' I watch so much reality TV it's not funny.

It's kind of like work for you, though.
People say that, but I don't care what I'm doing. If I didn't work in reality TV, I'd just have more time to watch it.

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