Melissa Jo Peltier

Author of fiction and nonfiction; film and television producer/writer/director

Photo Credit: John Gray

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"A dead-on satire—with a heart—of the reality TV scene from a knowledgeable, witty insider." - Kirkus Reviews


Apostrophe Books and releases REALITY BOULEVARD in Trade Paperback format.

"Reality Boulevard is a book in the tradition of great Hollywood novels, from Carroll and Garrett Graham’s Queer People (1930) to Michael Tolkin’s The Player (1988), and reads like Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 Network screenplay retooled for the 21st century. "

- Kenneth Salikoff, Kirkus Reviews Magazine

When Oscar winning producer Marty Maltzman's award-winning non-fiction series "Lights and Sirens," is suddenly cancelled after 16 seasons, the quirky documentary filmmaker and his colorful staff find themselves unemployed and out on the streets in an artificial new Hollywood filled with Kardashians, Survivors and Real Housewives. As the collection of oddball characters adapt to a surreal world in which the lines between truth and lies are blurred both on and off the screen, this darkly funny novel reveals an insider’s view of Hollywood and Reality TV.


Writer, producer and director Melissa Jo Peltier has worked in entertainment for more than 20 years, earning two Emmys, a Peabody and other awards for her work on documentary TV specials, nonfiction programming and reality shows such as “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan.”
“I’m not against people being entertained by silly things — I like being entertained by silly things — but I just have this feeling that the images being perpetrated on reality TV, repeated again and again, are just really negative,” Peltier says.
(Read More!)

"Melissa’s writing in “Reality Boulevard” is beyond what even I expected. Her characterizations and descriptions, in particular, are original and visceral, and the book is simply a fun and engaging read."

- Melanie Votaw,

" There’s a saying that 'you may be the only Bible someone reads today,' and in my lonely opinion, that’s an adage that more television executives and producers should take into account when they put anything – or any person – on the air. Sure, most people know “it’s only television” – but those images, stereotypes and behaviors seep into our subconscious and subtly affect how we see the world and how we act toward others. In the case of children and teens who watch reality TV, they don’t have the critical faculties to truly understand what is real and what is not. They internalize what they see on the air, and unless someone older and wiser sits down with them and helps them analyze what they’re seeing, they can co-opt those behaviors and attitudes."
(Read More on Morgen Bailey's Literary Blog)

Reality TV - Fictionalized by a Real Insider

"Once I started reading "Reality Boulevard," I could not stop. It is that compelling, that entertaining, and that amazing and amusing-- filled with unexpected plot twists and characters more colorful than the clearest rainbow. This is the best satirical look behind-the-scenes of "reality television" ever written. Despite being satiric fiction, it contains more truth than you would believe. You will forever watch your favorite reality shows with new "insider" knowledge and awareness."
- Arnold Shapiro
Academy Award & 16-time Emmy Award-winner
Producer of Film, TV documentaries and reality series
("Big Brother" "Rescue 911" "Scared Straight" & more)

“Melissa Jo Peltier has spent over 20 years in the trenches of documentary, non-fiction and reality TV and there's practically nothing she hasn't seen or done. She lived it so you can laugh about it in this novel.”
-Sean Hayes

“Reality TV has cannibalized the airwaves, and during her 20 plus years in the business, Melissa Jo Peltier had a front row seat, watching it all unfold. In this novel, she puts her dry wit and storytelling ability to good use, pulling back the curtain to reveal what really goes on.”
-Todd Milliner
Executive Producer
Hot in Cleveland

“I’ve worked with Melissa for almost 20 years on many programs on several networks. She’s the real deal. As a network executive, I can safely say that Melissa knows the territory, and most important of all, has captivating insights that are worth sharing with a wide audience.”
- Michael Cascio-
SVP, National Geographic Channel
(Formerly SVP A&E, Animal Planet)

“Emmy award winner, NYT Best selling author, and Executive Producer of the long-running phenomenon Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, Melissa Jo Peltier started out in television at the tender age of 20 and has had an unprecedented insider's view of reality TV's strange evolution. If there's anyone out there qualified to fictionalize what really goes on behind the scenes, it's Melissa.”
-Cori Wellins
Partner, William Morris Endeavor Agency

Read more news about reality boulevard on the "news & events", "blog", and "works" pages!

Published Works

Reality Boulevard
"...a book in the tradition of great Hollywood novels, from Carroll and Garrett Graham’s Queer People (1930) to Michael Tolkin’s The Player (1988), and reads like Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 Network screenplay retooled for the 21st century" - Ken Salikoff, Kirkus Indie Magazine
"In this smart, funny, insightful novel, reality TV becomes all too real...Peltier examines the Hollywood world of writers, producers, rich kids, actors, wannabes and con men with a keen and often compassionate eye. " - Kirkus Reviews
"Once I started reading "Reality Boulevard," I could not stop...this is the best satirical look behind-the-scenes of "reality television" ever written." - Arnold Shapiro, Oscar & Emmy-winning Producer of Scared Straight; Rescue 911; Big Brother
“[Millan] arrives amid canine chaos and leaves behind peace.” —Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker
Non-Fiction (Co-Author)
“As complete a tome on the subject as one could want…If the answer you’re looking for in this guide cannot be found, the question is not worth asking...this is an impressive piece of work.” - Bookviews, June 2011