Gainesville reality show creates controversy

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The city of Gainesville is about to get some national notoriety in a new TV show that bears the city's name. But not every Gainesville local is happy about it and now there's a petition to change the name of the show that debuts next week on CMT.

It's a reality show that follows the lives of seven Gainesville locals, which is one of the criticisms because some people told News4Jax that not every cast member is local. Those people also don't believe this show is the best way to represent Gainesville to the country, and some fear it will do to Gainesville what Jersey Shore did to New Jersey.

The new reality show debuts next week on CMT and like most reality shows it will likely be filled with drama. News4Jax spoke to one person who's excited to see the show.

"Why not, it's not a reality show. More an entertainment show that's happening in Gainesville," Wesley Seip said.

But there are a lot people who are not too happy about the new show.

"I signed it already because I don't think it accurately represents what Gainesville's all about," Mayan Alvarado said.

The petition has more than 1,500 signatures and scathing comments like "Gainesville is a vibrant social and cultural centre, full of brilliant and unique individuals. CMT seems to have found the dimmest people in the entire town to give a show to." And another commenter said, "The "cast" has DUI's and many other negative marks against them that that's not right for them to represent the community"

One of the cast members, Andrea Giansanti (pictured below) was arrested for driving under the influence last week and was also charged with refuse to submit a DUI test with prior suspension to refuse. This is just feeding the furor some locals have over the name.

"I don't know, Gainesville's not all party town and UF. There's a lot more community behind it then I think the show actually goes into," said Alvarado.

News4Jax reached out to CMT and officials said they are not commenting on this petition but the network said it's excited for the show to start.

Gainesville debuts Aug. 20th on CMT.

For more information on the petition go to the website:

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