Encinitas TV show steers for Jan. 10 preview at La Paloma Theatre


A new reality show about life at a used car dealership is ready to roll.

The pilot episode of “Life on the Lot” — the first reality show set in Encinitas, according to executive producers Karen and Gene Ventura — is set to debut Jan. 10 at the La Paloma Theatre. About 350 people are expected to attend the invitation-only event, including Encinitas City Council members, a representative from the San Diego Mayor’s Office, other locals involved in politics, and potential investors in the project.

The Venturas, who live in Rancho Santa Fe, are the stars of the show, primarily filmed at their EZ Cars 101 dealership in Encinitas. The show mainly centers on a day in the life of Gene Ventura and the people he encounters through the business, ranging from those whom he works with (such as mechanics) to the customers.

“The customers are a huge part of (the show),” Karen Ventura emphasized.

“Ever since we started EZ Cars 101, we’ve just been blown away by these funny, wild encounters with people we meet on the lot every day,” Gene Ventura said. “They’re incredible characters.”

“It’s amazing, really,” Karen Ventura said. “You just can’t make this stuff up.”

The 22-minute pilot ends with footage from a public event that was held Oct. 4 at the dealership. Skateboarders, sponsored by neighboring restaurant Bull Taco, attempted to jump three cars in a row, and were judged by a panel of pro athletes.

Two cameras were used to film the pilot, including a drone that captured aerial images of Encinitas, Cardiff and Rancho Santa Fe.

Since filming wrapped last fall, the Venturas have been busy developing “sales tools” to promote their project. These include a pitch bible, which features a synopsis of the show and all of its major elements; a website (, which is expected to go live by the time of the premiere; a one-minute trailer; and a 3-1/2-minute “sizzle reel” that is shown to networks so they can see the idea in action.

The Venturas hope that after the Jan. 10 premiere, “Life on the Lot” will be picked up by a network for a 13-episode season, although there is a chance that it could be given the green light for two seasons. Karen Ventura said that she and Gene have already had positive responses, and they are going into the premiere “confident and relaxed.”

Once the “Life on the Lot” website goes live, the public will be able to view the 60-second trailer for the pilot. People can also go to the show’s Facebook page ( to see photos.

Karen Ventura noted that January will be an important month for the show.

“If something happens, it will happen really soon,” she said.