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Thread: The reality is, reality TV is fading

  1. #1

    The reality is, reality TV is fading

    I'm not entirely sure this guy is too far off, I have noticed a dive in the amount of reality television I watch... The only one I watch regularly is The Apprentice, and I've even stopped watching Survivor now... Anyone else feeling the same way?

    Tom Jicha: The reality is, reality TV is fading
    By Tom Jicha
    November 4, 2004

    America's long national nightmare with reality TV appears to be coming to an end.

    Every one of the new reality series introduced this summer and fall has either failed or is failing. At the same time, several scripted dramas have broken out of the early season clutter to establish themselves as long-term keepers, a development that usually is a harbinger of more of the same.

    One of these shows, "Desperate Housewives," is achieving what pessimists said is no longer possible in the fragmented TV universe. The ABC rookie has emerged as a buzz show, which, in less than a month, has come from nowhere to become a Top 5 series and pop-culture reference.

    These contrasting developments could signal a shift in audience tastes, especially since some of the recent reality attempts have been ignominious failures.

    Fox's "The Next Great Champ," a knockoff of a concept previously announced by NBC, went down like Mike Tyson's bottom line. The public's decision was so one-sided, Fox felt compelled to yank it off the broadcast network and relegate it to the cable Fox Sports Network. The quick knockout also clouds the future of NBC's "The Contender," whose opening bell was supposed to sound in November but has been put off until at least January.

    "The Last Comic Standing" was only a week from crowning a winner when it fell. NBC wasn't amused by plunging ratings and pulled it off the air. The finale wound up on Comedy Central, which isn't even one of NBC's sister cable stations.

    "The Benefactor," ABC's answer to "The Apprentice," was handled like a junk bond. The slumping series built around billionaire Mark Cuban was pre-empted for a special on the death of Christopher Reeve. ABC decided this was such a beneficial move for the network, it lopped another week off the end of "The Benefactor." An original eight-week run has been reduced to six weeks.

    Prime-time exposure on NBC appears to be a thing of the past for the Fab Five of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," who, in about their 14th minute of fame, have been relegated back to low-viewership Bravo.

    "The Surreal Life" couldn't even endure on the WB and now is hanging on for life on VH1.

    Even where the news isn't so devastating for reality shows, it's not good. "The Apprentice," a Top 5 program last season, has fallen out of the Top 10 and is down an average of about 3 million homes a week. "The Bachelor" also is off almost 3 million homes. "Fear Factor" has lost more than 1.5 million households.

    The only series of the genre not to go substantially south is "Survivor," which is down about a half-million homes, but it no longer has to face off against "Friends" on Thursdays.

    This isn't to say reality is about to disappear entirely. Network TV has always had room for a few such programs, although people didn't hang this label on series such as "Real People" and "That's Incredible."

    Moreover, reality represents quick and relatively inexpensive fixes for under-achieving lineups. However, the reality madness that has taken control of prime time appears to be in its waning moments.

  2. #2
    I wonder why the rtv shows mentioned in the article failed. :rolleyes I wouldn't waste my time watching some of those horrible shows.

    There are not that many quality competition reality tv shows like Survivor (which I still watch) and TAR (which I will watch when it premieres) anymore. I'm suppose people are getting tired of the shows because the novelty is starting to wear off a bit. Most of the rtv shows are similar in one way or another. Once in a while i'll watch The Apprentice and Fear Factor, but that's because there is nothing else on. I am looking forward to "Obnoxious Boss" though.

    Right now, I'm more into non-reality tv shows like Desperate Housewives, Joan of Arcadia, and Smallville. Still waiting for Alias to start back up.
    Last edited by Wolf; 11-05-2004 at 06:02 PM.

  3. #3
    With Fox's schedule being the first in history to have more reality shows than non-reality, I don't think reality is fading.

  4. #4
    But how successful is Fox's Reality lineup? (I should also add that I am looking forward to TAR as well as the Obnoxious Boss)

  5. #5
    Team Choca. Brad who?! Alanna's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    I don't think it's true, they need some fresh ideas, to spice it up a bit, and to make it a little more classy or at least as genuine as they can. I think it's here to stay because it's "real" course it's staged but nonetheless they're not actors and it's mostly not scripted.
    Big: You know, Manhattan has a lot of beautiful women.
    Carrie: What an amazing observation!
    Big: But the thing is, after awhile, you just wanna be with the one who makes you laugh.
    ~ Sex and the City

  6. #6
    FORT Fogey candor's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Aack, why do these pundits overreach so much? The genre isn't dead, those stupid shows are. Of course there are going to be duds -- there are simply too many reality shows, and too many bad knockoffs, for them all to succeed.
    If suddenly sitcoms took over programming and a bunch got cancelled would this guy be declaring the end of sitcoms? Probably, because he's a wad. But would he be right? Of course not.
    "Totalitarianism demands, in fact, the continuous alteration of the past, and in the long run probably demands a disbelief in the very existence of objective truth." George Orwell

  7. #7
    Of course you would expect the exact opposite on this website of all places, but the fact is, whoever wrote that article is more or less right. Look at Millionaire. It was huge, then it just died off...and reality tv won't die off that bad, but it won't be as big as it has in years. You read angry people going "why'd they take off _________ (any cancelled show) i watched it!" but what it comes down to is that no one else was.
    These shows may be around, but don't expect the same huge ratings that they once got...

  8. #8
    What's a sitcom? Toxic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Someone posted a similar article in Current Events a few weeks back. linky

    I said in that thread, that when you factor in cable TV and FOX ... there have never been so many hours upon hours of 'reality' television.

    The viewers are still there .. they are just divided up among dozens of shows.

  9. #9
    NI FORT fan Belfastgirl's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    I think you have your favourite shows and ones you don't really like. It's the same with any programme genre, e.g. drama, comedy, documentary.

    My faves are Big Brother UK
    Pop Idol UK
    American Idol
    I'm a celebrity .... get me out of here!!! UK
    Strictly Come Dancing ........ a new hit UK show which pairs celebrities with professional ballroom dancer. The premise doesn't sound that great, but somehow it works. It's very good. You may get it in the US in the future.

  10. #10
    FORT Fanatic springkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    i don't think it's fading....
    more like there's too many out there....
    quantity over qualities...
    that's where it fails...

    i still watch survivor and amazing race....
    shows like bachelor are getting boring!!!
    each time one loves is the only time one ever love...differences of object merely intensify the passion

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