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Thread: Why don't we have more Adventure/Reality Shows?

  1. #1
    FORT Fogey
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    Why don't we have more Adventure/Reality Shows?

    "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race" set the stage for truly good reality shows. "The Mole" also did fairly well in the ratings and took us all to some exciting places.

    Lately, we have been bombarded with shows that are basically either 'dating' or 'talent shows' yet call themselves reality shows.

    Is it a financial matter, or perhaps too much of a risk to transport a group of contestants all over the globe?

    I'd like to read some of your opinions and suggestions.

  2. #2
    plaisirs volatils raindance's Avatar
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    I agree with the 'dating shows' point, CG.

    Possibly, it's difficult to coordinate a show if it should be a travelling kind of RTV. Like TAR, they probably need a lot of coordination, which makes it a little tougher to produce.
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    1. Popularity of the "dating" / "talent" reality shows. The Bachelor was a suprise hit, so naturally ABC is going to capitalize on that franchise and other networks will follow suit, even though the much more entertaining (IMHO) Bachelorettes in Alaska on Fox last summer wasn't a ratings spectacular. I thought that show was hilarious. Meet My Folks has also had really strong ratings despite erratic scheduling, so dating shows are proven money makers, whereas some higher budget "adventure" shows have tanked. Lost (on NBC) and No Boundaries (on WB) were notable flops, Push, Nevada was not exactly reality, but "interactive tv" a big flop, and Mystery in Small Town X was also not as popular as Fox would have wanted. Even The Amazing Race has never found the audience it deserves (except among members of this site). Same for the huge success of American Idol. All of a sudden Star Search has been resurrected and we have kids singing and All American Girls floucing about. Not my cup of tea, but obviously there is a huge audience for this. I agree, international travel is an issue. The concept for "the Runner" or whatever it was called got shelved as it involved cross-country travel for a person evading notice by viewers, and that didn't "feel good" post 9-11. International travel has impacted The Amazing Race contestant travel options.

    2. Networks have been focusing on "Celebrity" versions, which are so-so. I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here did pretty mediocre in the ratings. John wrote a long article in that forum about how it was destined to fail because of the bizarre scheduling of the show. I thought the original Boot Camp (with Joe Public contestants) was hilarious, but we haven't seen recent rumblings about a new edition following last fall's Celebrity Boot Camp. Celebrity Mole, again so-so in the ratings. Ahmad Rashad is no Anderson. It's tough to "go back" to using regular folk after having celebrities. It is possible, however, to have a mix of "quasi-celebrities" such as former reality tv show contestants, mixed in with other contestants, as I laughed heartily to Cannonball Run 2001, which aired on USA in the fall of 2001 and featured ordinary Joes plus Sue Hawk, Jeff Varner, and Kaya from Temptation Island as one of the racing teams (they didn't even make it to the finals).

    3. Lack of Network Support, failure to find a decent audience = summer viewing when folks are outside instead of glued to the tube. The Amazing Race has never had the ratings it deserved, and while Season 4 has been shot it got delayed until this summer, where hopefully it will be able to gain a following. Big Brother will be back this season as well and has decent summer ratings the past 3 years. Actually, this show does well in the summer and should stay there. Gives us internet website nerds something to talk about. Networks jerk around the scheduling, shift shows to the summer. The Family has been shelved until the summer after a decent start last month. The Mole 2 was MIA for almost a year before re-appearing in the summer. Meet My Folks (granted, a "dating" show, not an "adventure" show) has THE most erratic schedule I've ever seen, and STILL gets decent numbers. I can't even imagine how popular that show would be if it was on every week on the same night and people could actually find it. I think it will be back in May as it is quite a draw and the ads for Third Watch indicate that it will be wrapping up after 4 more new episodes this season. Look for Dog Eat Dog (adventure - contest show) to reappear this summer, as that was a summer hit last year. NBC does odd things with its shows as DED was supposed to premier a month ago, was on the schedule and everything. ABC = also guilty. Say what you want about the quality of Fox' reality shows, at least they get aired when scheduled (most of the time).

    In sum - networks are going with proven ratings getters, romance and talent shows, but that more "adventure" or "getting locked in a house full of cameras" shows will be showing up this summer, as 2003 looks to be a reality-ific summer.
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    COMBAT MISSIONS junkie! BravoFan's Avatar
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    CaliGirl - the simple answer to your question is that the networks suck.

    Seriously, there are only a few talented people that can carry out the more complex, quality produced shows like TAR, Eco-Challenge, Combat Missions.

    And then unfortunately when they are aired, they oftentimes don't get proper marketing and do poorly in the ratings compared to reality shows like The Bachelor.

    It's a bizarre and vicious circle.
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    FORT Fogey
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    Great contributions so far, thanks!

    originally posted by lurkinggirl
    Bachelorettes in Alaska on Fox last summer wasn't a ratings spectacular. I thought that show was hilarious.
    I thought so too. It was a very creative concept, and I thought the scenery was spectacular.

    originally posted by lurkinggirl
    I thought the original Boot Camp (with Joe Public contestants) was hilarious, but we haven't seen recent rumblings about a new edition following last fall's Celebrity Boot Camp.
    I also enjoyed this show although it took me a while to get into it. Don't forget "Celebrity Boot Camp" was only one episode with a really mixed bag of C-List celebs, not the least of which was Nikki Z. (late of IACGMOOH) and the dreadful Lorenzo Lamas.

    originally posted by lurkinggirl
    It is possible, however, to have a mix of "quasi-celebrities" such as former reality tv show contestants, mixed in with other contestants, as I laughed heartily to Cannonball Run 2001, which aired on USA in the fall of 2001 and featured ordinary Joes plus Sue Hawk, Jeff Varner, and Kaya from Temptation Island as one of the racing teams
    Lurkinggirl, you are a true connoisseur! This show was great! Between Jeff Varner's cattiness, Kaya's stupidity and Sue's truck driver demeanor (I liked her better in this than I did in Survivor), plus some pretty darn nice regular people and a few insidious ones, it turned out to be a great series.

    These three particular shows were so different and each distinctive and entertaining in its own way which indicates to me that there are some good ideas out there, but it's all about ratings, ratings, ratings.

  6. #6
    LG.
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    ah, thanks CaliGirl. If you've seen all three of those shows, you're as much of a reality tv junkie as I am. My favorites are any that can make me laugh out loud, maybe that's a little sadistic towards the participants, but I love it when this genre doesn't take itself too seriously. I like the quasi-romance shows as long as they are cheesy and not too serious about real life realitionships, as Love Cruise was one of my all-time favorites. This is a very interesting topic - thanks for bringing it up.
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    FORT Fogey
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    I'm the earl of out-of-the-loopness when it comes to upcoming reality tv shows but I came across this: Around the World in 80 Dates. Has there been any discussion about it? Is it yesterday's news?

    http://www.nbc.com/nbc/Around_the_Wo...es/apply.shtml

    I guess it's an extended version of Evan and ____ (fill in the floozie: Melissa/Zora/Sarah) travelling to various getaways in the South of France but hopefully loads more of the adventure element! Combining the dating stuff with Let's Go! locales, it could work.

    Anyhow, the adventure shows are my favorite and I agree I'd to see lots more of them. The Amazing Race, Eco-Challenge, etc. are so much fun to watch and cheer along too. You don't have to wait for a friggin "twist" or the last five minutes to get to the good stuff. It's all good from credits to credits.

    For now, I've got the various shows on cable to provide some action/reality like the Monster Garage, Junkyard Wars and several shows with inventors MacGyvering to get off an island, or something like that.

    The Amazing Race Must Return!!!

  8. #8
    FORT Fogey
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    originally posted by lurkinggirl
    Love Cruise was one of my all-time favorites
    ME TOO! Who can ever forget Toni who used her eyeballs for intimidation?

    I didn't dare mention it before, but I also thoroughly enjoyed the goings on of "Temptation Island" -- yes, yes, TI1 AND TI2. Oh Edmundo (sigh) you were such a tramp!

    originally posted by Deep Dish
    I'm the earl of out-of-the-loopness when it comes to upcoming reality tv shows but I came across this: Around the World in 80 Dates. Has there been any discussion about it? Is it yesterday's news?
    I haven't heard too much about it, but you know what? I'm in!
    Sounds like a combination platter to me!

  9. #9
    LG.
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    oh my Temptation Island I and II were favorites of mine as well. 'Mundo was a playa, and BF-Tommy's bulging carotid artery while watching his GF-Nikkole make out with Tommy-NewYork, priceless. They were a much randier group than the original cast when we speculated as to whether or not Kaya kissed his date or if Billy really thought that was Mandy's natural hair color. Memories . . . . . I've heard tell that Temptation Island III will be coming soon.
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  10. #10
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    I agree about the adventure shows, I love that stuff and hate the dating shows, but I think that the lack of adventure reflects viewer's preferences. Most couch potatoes don't want to be reminded that there are people out there who can run a grueling adventure race for 5 straight days. They don't relate to people like that, so they don't care to watch them. That's my theory anyway.

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