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Production

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The following page is a list of the steps taken in Total Drama's production.

Original concept

According to an interview with TVSA, creator Tom McGillis said that the show was originally called Escape From Summer Camp, which featured "a bunch of kids trapped at a cheesy camp in North Canada."

Before the show started production, McGillis and his partner, Jennifer Pertsch created a survey and studied what reality shows teens watched and also did not like. The most common answers included Survivor, Fear Factor and The Amazing Race. The Bachelor and Big Brother were among the shows the surveyed teens thought were not favorable to the participants.

Camp TV

Camp TV was the original prototype series for Total Drama Island. However, the project was cancelled, based on the feedback from potential broadcasters and the creators began to create what would become Total Drama in March 2006. It would have featured eighteen contestants.

The only contestants not to appear in Camp TV, but did in the finished series, were Courtney, Noah, Heather, Izzy, and any character who did not debut in Total Drama Island (those being Alejandro, Blaineley, Sierra, the Total Drama: Revenge of the Island contestants, and the Total Drama: Pahkitew Island contestants). While some of the characters, such as Duncan, Trent, Lindsay, Geoff, Harold, and Leshawna's appearances remained almost exactly the same, there were major changes in other campers' looks and/or personalities, such as Beth, Ezekiel, DJ, and Eva.

Total Drama Action

Mark Thornton verified that the Total Drama Production Blog, along with feedback Teletoon received, played a part in who came back for season two. The production crew brought back the audience's favorites and characters they didn't think had enough of a chance to shine in season one.

The decision was made early on that only half of the cast would be making a return to competition. A lot of discussion went into which characters would make the most entertaining show.

The decision to use the movie industry was unanimously agreed on after it was suggested, because of the wide variety of genres, said Jennifer Pertsch in a Newsrama interview. "We didn’t have the Japanese humiliation shows in our heads when we started Total Drama Action. Although when we got into it, they did provide inspiration. We just wanted to get off the island and lampoon something different; take it to the next level."

Total Drama, the Musical

TDMTelethon

The screen that displayed "TDM Telethon", the original name of Total Drama World Tour, briefly in Aftermath: Revenge of the Telethon.

The original name of Total Drama World Tour was "Total Drama, the Musical". This was brought up in Celebrity Manhunt's Total Drama Action Reunion Special, where Chris and Chef start singing "Total Drama Musical". This was also brought up in Aftermath: Revenge of the Telethon; the screen displayed font which read "TDM Telethon", but this was quickly changed back to "TDWT Telethon".

Total Drama, the Musical was first announced in September 2008, and would have featured fifteen contestants.

This makes Total Drama World Tour the second of three seasons to have had its name changed, the first being Camp TV being changed to Total Drama Island, and the third being Total Drama Reloaded being changed to Total Drama: Revenge of the Island.

Total Drama Reloaded

Logomess

The original logo for Total Drama Reloaded.

Total Drama Reloaded was the original title for the fourth season of the Total Drama series, but was later renamed Total Drama: Revenge of the Island. The fourth season's existence was confirmed on the Total Drama Production Blog on January 18, 2010. The title was left unknown, and widely speculated to be Total Drama Comedy, until it was confirmed as Total Drama Reloaded by Christian Potenza in a YouTube video. The original version was going to feature only 12 contestants, but B was added in at a later date.

Total Drama All-Stars

Total Drama All-Stars Logo

The new season was confirmed in an interview with Tom McGillis on July 19, 2012, stating that the fifth season would be very similar to the first and fourth season, hinting it may take place on the island. The interview can be found on YouTube, here and here.

Christian Potenza confirmed on his Facebook page that recording sessions for the fifth season have been scheduled for December. That same day, Drew Nelson revealed on his fanpage that Duncan would make some form of appearance this season. On February 3, 2013, Nelson confirmed that Duncan would indeed participate in the season.

The "Heroes vs. Villains" theme was confirmed by ABC3 Australia on December 19, 2012 by staff, and that the new season would be seeing a 2013 airdate.

Cartoon Network revealed the show's name in their Upfront press release on January 28, 2013 (Total Drama All-Stars), with the description Total Drama is back, but this time the team at Fresh TV have assembled the best loved and most hated contestants from seasons past to compete – Heroes vs. Villains style!

In a YouTube video posted by Christian Potenza, it was confirmed that Cameron, Mike, Heather, Jo, Courtney, Gwen, Sierra and Alejandro would be returning. Also, it was confirmed that Alejandro would receive a new voice actor, Alex House.

Total Drama: Pahkitew Island

The new season was officially confirmed in a Teletoon press release on June 9, 2013. Shortly after, a promotional poster was found on TeletoonMedia.com with silhouettes of the brand-new fourteen-person cast. On October 8, 2013, the storyboard of the second half of episode one, titled "So, Uh This Is My Team?", was leaked online.

A press release posted on February 25, 2014 revealed rough airdates for Pahkitew Island; summer 2014 for Cartoon Network and fall 2014 for Teletoon. A promo picture for the season was posted via a Cake Entertainment press release sometime in mid-March. On March 28, Fresh TV revealed on their Tumblr that the season would air in July 2014 on Cartoon Network. The season premiered on Cartoon Network on July 7, 2014, with the first two episodes aired back-to-back. Cartoon Network then announced that subsequent episodes of the season would be aired in a two-week nightly marathon that ended with the last two episodes aired back-to-back on July 18, 2014.

Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race

Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race was announced by Fresh TV via the Fresh TV Blog  on July 1, 2014, following much speculation as to whether Total Drama would be renewed for a sixth season. Total Drama will however, probably continue for a Season 6 when RR finishes. On October 1st of the same year, the first official character design and host of the series, Don, was revealed along with the official show logo. On December 30, the first two competitors were revealed: Carrie and Devin

Several pairs were considered for the show but were scrapped which include a team of pranksters, extreme girls, nerds, an old married couple in their 90's and a magician with his assistant. Magicians were going to be added to the season, but then the producers reconsidered the choices they have, so they brought back Leonard and decided to give him a partner, this being Tammy.

Several of the characters also went through name changes which include Brody (Bro), Rock (Mike & Roach), Spud (Corky & Sparky), Macarthur (Marsha), Sanders (Beth), Lorenzo (Keifer & Chad), Chet (Keith) and Devin (Ben).

A few of the teams originally had different stereotypes. This includes Jen and Tom who were originally producer's assistants, Gerry and Pete who were mortal enemies, Brody and Geoff who were the Bromance Boys, Mary and Ellody who were in the AV Club and Jacques and Josee who were brother and sister.

The Chill Zone was originally called Kiss & Cry.

Originally, the Best Friends, the Ice Dancers, and the Sisters were going to be in the final three of the show. Later, the final three was changed to the Ice Dancers, the Police Cadets, and the Sisters, before being changed again to the final version. Out of them, only the Ice Dancers made it to the final three in all three versions.

Total Drama Presents The Ridonculous Race

A promo image, featuring three members of Total Drama cast, Junior, and the old designs of Don, Brody, Dwayne, and The Goths.

Fresh TV additionally revealed that the show will be formatted in terms of elimination to its base program, The Amazing Race, with several teams of two competing instead of individual contestants, and with two characters eliminated at a time. They also confirmed that a small selection of contestants from Total Drama will be competing in the series.

The Cake Entertainment page for Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race was created on June 9, 2015. Its promo image showed five new members of the cast, and the old design of the host, Brody, Dwayne, The Goths, as well as three returning Total Drama cast members, Owen, Noah, and Geoff. Fresh TV gradually revealed the remaining teams as well as the locations over the summer. On September 4, Cartoon Network released the first six episodes on their website. The show premiered on September 7, with the airdate being confirmed via The Futon Critic on August 24.

Trivia

  • Brick
    • Brick was originally slated to compete on Total Drama All-Stars, but was dropped in favor of Sam because the latter was felt to be "more fun to write".
  • Broadway, Baby!
    • This is the only episode to have an entire scene cut in the United States.
      • The camera is focused on Noah, Cody, and Tyler, who are in the process of climbing to the top of the statue. Tyler then notices that they are near Lady Liberty's breasts, while Cody then becomes overexcited and accidentally slips and falls, landing in between them. Tyler is amused by this and cracks a joke about Cody making a "ten-point landing", rather than helping him. Sierra saves Cody and Chef says in the cockpit confessional that it would have been a good way to go, to which Cody agrees.
  • Cody
    • Cody was originally slated to compete on Total Drama All-Stars, but was cut because the producers thought that his relationship with Sierra had already played out fully in Total Drama World Tour.
  • Don
    • According to the Elliott Animation website, Don was formerly based on Ron Burgundy from the Anchorman series. His name was Chadley Chizzleton and he was older, with a different design.
  • Food Fright
    • According to the storyboards, the scenes in the girl's cabin early in the episode was different.
  • Greece's Pieces
    • It was revealed in an interview that this episode was originally going to take place in Italy with a different-themed challenge.
      • This may explain why Chris states they will be going to Italy for the challenge before he was corrected.
  • Gwen
    • According to the first two directors of Total Drama, Todd Kauffman and Mark Thornton, Gwen's original name was Heather.
  • Haute Camp-ture
    • It can be assumed that the original plot for the episode was completely different. This is shown on Teletoon's Total Drama Island: Totally Interactive!, which gives a summary about a modeling challenge, hence the episode's title "Haute Camp-ture".
    • The description of the episode on iTunes is:
      • Each camper is getting their minutes of fame - or make that, five minutes of shame, when they compete in the Total Drama Modeling Challenge. Dressed in heels in wigs and forced to strut their stuff, they will be judged on their walking, talking and hawking as they participate in the photo shoot. Owen scores big points with the judges, but loses big time friendships when he gets caught in multi-alliances. If the campers humiliation weren't tested to the limits, their courage will be when they are told they must do their final catwalk performance on a tiny runway over a pit of crocodiles! In the end, one camper reigns supreme when they fall into the croc pits and face off with the hungry beasts.
  • If You Can't Take The Heat...
    • According to the original storyboard, the Killer Bass were originally going to get in a food fight with each other after Duncan accidentally fired custard at DJ. The only food that wasn't going to be damaged from the food fight was Harold and Sadie's antipasto, which Harold guarded.
  • Justin
    • Justin's personality change in season two was because the writers decided that he was one of the characters who never had the opportunity to reach his potential in season one. This was one of the first things discussed between the writers.
  • Labels
    • Noah's original stereotype was The Schemer, even though he is not known for scheming and has never been seen doing so in the series; so it is possible Noah was an antagonist of some sort at one point.
  • Leshawna
    • Leshawna was initially stated to make an appearance in Total Drama: Revenge of the Island, but the idea was scrapped before the final release.
  • Lightning
    • Lightning was originally going to be called "Lightening".
    • As can be seen on this file, he was originally going to have his brown hair back for Total Drama All-Stars.
  • Lindsay
    • According to the first two directors of Total Drama, Todd Kauffman and Mark Thornton, Lindsay was originally going to be the antagonist of the show.
  • Mike's alternate personalities
    • According to the Total Drama Panel at Fan Expo 2011, Svetlana was originally Swedish, Vito was called Vince, and Manitoba Smith was called Manitoba Mike.
    • During an interview, Cory Doran, Mike's voice actor, admits that Vito is his favorite alternative personality. He says that "I think Vito was my favorite just because of the whole love triangle that came from it. It gave Mike a real hard time trying to win over Zoey, and it's fun to see him scramble to make it up to her".
    • Cory Doran admitted that Svetlana is his favorite alternative personality to voice. He says that "Svetlana can kick anyone's butt in a challenge. She can flip, run, and dodge almost anything. Plus in the recording booth, I got too crazy with her lines. It's not often that I get to do the voice of a female Russian Olympic Gymnast".
    • Cory Doran said if he had to pick another personality for Mike, it would be a "total crazy guy like The Joker or The Monarch (Venture Bros.). I think someone over the top and addicted to mayhem would be great. It's such a departure from Mike and his other personalities".
  • Monster Cash
    • According to the Total Drama Production Blog, while on the table Owen was originally supposed to tell everyone he's fine. However, Scott McCord (who voices Owen and Trent) improvised the line, "Nope. Call 911." The production crew found it so funny that they kept it for the episode.
  • Not So Happy Campers - Part 1
    • In the written script for the episode, Courtney was Asian; Heather had a ponytail; and Noah had glasses.
    • The grub saying "hey now!" in Camp TV was used as a clip in the first episode.
    • Leshawna says to Tyler in the Camp TV promo: "Excuse me? What did you just say to me? You haven't seen anything yet! I'll show you big, baby!" She later says this to Harold in Not So Happy Campers - Part 1.
    • Tyler's promo line of "have a cow!" was given to Owen in Not So Happy Campers - Part 1.
    • As can be seen on a script for this episode, Tyler was originally going to be staring at Lindsay's butt in the Main lodge, with Lindsay flirting right back.
  • Sierra
    • Sierra was added to the show to "to mix things up and add an element of surprise for both the cast and the audience", according to Alex Ganetakos.
  • Sky Fall
    • As confirmed by Julie Giles, this episode's original title was "Break Back Mountain".
  • So, Uh This Is My Team?
    • An storyboard of a later version of the episode can be seen here.
    • As was seen in the leaked storyboard of the second half of the episode, Beardo was originally making robot sounds and walking like a robot, instead of running in slow motion. Also, Dave and Chef's reactions to this could be seen on two separate small screens.
    • After Leonard's tower falls over and Leonard is revealed to not be hurt, a piece of the tower falls and hits him on the head as he celebrates.
    • There was one more Sugar's confessional, which was shown at the beginning of the elimination ceremony, along with Dave's, Leonard's and Beardo's.
    • In the original version, Sugar ate Leonard's marshmallow.
  • Staff
    • Katie Crown, the voice actor of Izzy, improvises some of the lines depending on the situation. The show intentionally has hired many stand-ups and people experienced in improv, said Jennifer Pertsch in an interview with Newsarama.
    • During an interview, Christian Potenza, voice of Chris, stated he originally auditioned to voice Ezekiel, before Tom McGillis convinced him to instead voice Chris.
    • During an interview, Drew Nelson, voice of Duncan, stated he originally auditioned for Chris, Cody, Owen, Chef Hatchet, and Duncan, among other minor characters.
    • During an interview, Rachel Wilson, voice of Heather, stated she originally auditioned for Gwen, Lindsay, and Heather, but really wanted to voice either Gwen or Lindsay.
    • During an interview, Cory Doran, voice of Mike, stated he originally auditioned for Mike, but also got a chance at Scott and Cameron.
    • According to an interview, Carter Hayden, voice of Noah, stated he originally auditioned for Noah, Owen, and Chris.
    • During an interview, Caitlynne Medrek, voice of Dawn, stated that she originally auditioned for Zoey and Molly, a Total Drama Reloaded character, landing the role of Dawn when Molly was scrapped from the final release.
  • Topher
    • Topher's original design had a blue and yellow shirt and his pants were gray. But they were changed to match Chris' clothes.
  • Total Drama Island
    • Originally, the series was picked up by only Teletoon (Canada) and a network in Poland, with most networks complaining the series was "too tall an order", "too high concept", and "featured too many characters".
    • Nina Pitt picked up the series for Cartoon Network in early 2008.
    • Total production costs of the season costed eight million dollars.
  • Toxic Rats
    • The original team name for the Toxic Rats was the "Radioactive Rats". Christian Potenza confirmed that the name for the Radioactive Rats was scrapped on September 27, 2011, out of respect for the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
      • This is also the first team in the series to have a name change for the final version of the season.
        • The name change may explain why the season aired after its official date.
  • Tyler
    • Tyler was initially stated to make an appearance in Total Drama: Revenge of the Island, but the idea was scrapped before the final release.
    • In Tyler's official rotation, along with his regular outfit and swimsuit, he is seen wearing a white tank top and red shorts. However, he is never seen wearing this on the show.

Gallery

Credit to Matthew Richard Allen.

Credit to Martin Smith.

Credit to FreshTV, in order of release date.

Beth's audition tape
Credit to Arna Selznick.

If You Can't Take The Heat...
Credit to Arna Selznick.

Total Drama Action opening sequence

Anything Yukon Do, I Can Do Better

Food Fright
Credit to Julie Faulkner.

Not So Happy Campers - Part 1
Credit to TdiAlex.

A Million Ways to Lose a Million Dollars

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