Reality TV production picks up in L.A. area

A robber dressed in drag angles toward a window at Norms Restaurant in Burbank and whips out a gun. Within a few seconds, the burly-looking guy behind the cash register yanks the criminal through the window, slams him against a countertop and repeatedly pummels him as he crumples to the ground.

The scene was based on surveillance video of an actual robbery and was recently filmed on Magnolia Boulevard for Fuel TV’s “Punk Payback.” The aptly named reality TV series, starring former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion Bas Rutten, showcases combat moves that help viewers avoid being “punked” on the street.

"It's part martial arts action, part comedy," said Greg Glass, president of BCII, which is producing the show. "It's very over the top."

“Punk Payback,” which debuts in November, is just the lastest among an onslaught of new reality TV shows that have kicked into production in Los Angeles this summer.

Since early July, about 50 new reality TV shows have pulled permits to film on local streets or non-certified soundstages, according to data from FilmL.A. Inc.  COMPANY TOWN

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