Austin Stories is MTV's first ever prime time situation comedy, which debuted September 10, 1997, and aired Wednesday nights at 10:30 pm. The show aired twelve episodes filmed on location in Austin, Texas.
An MTV search brought executives James Jones and Lisa Berger to Austin in 1994. Jones had previous produced The Ben Stiller Show and Berger was vice-president and director of development at the network. MTV scouts were drawn to the city's emerging comedy scene and noticed Laura House, Howard Kremer and Brad "Chip" Pope. They were all discovered at a showcase for MTV at the Laff Stop for professional comics. All three had to pull strings to get on the showcase as none of them had been paid for their comedy. House was a junior high journalism teacher when she was cast on the show. Both she and Brad "Chip" Pope were University of Texas graduates. Originally, the show was only guaranteed 13 episodes on the channel. In March 1997, MTV flew House, Kremer and Pope to Los Angeles to write two scripts in three days. Austin Stories was green-lighted on March 20, 1997 and they often spent 16-hour days working on the show with taping wrapping in November.
Their contract expired on May 8, 1998 and MTV extended it for three more weeks before permanently canceling the show on June 1, 1998.