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Author Topic: Reality Shows On The Decline? (Also Funny Stuff About FOX)  (Read 388 times)
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Eyedol7513

Liquid Emperor
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« on: 11-15-2004 21:46 »
« Last Edit on: 11-15-2004 21:46 »

+You can read the whole article, but pay attention to the bold words. Some funny news about FOX. Especially about "The Next Great Champ."+

     
Quote
Credit to Scott Collins of the Los Angeles Times
When Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter, the real-life couple that found romance on ABC's hit "The Bachelor," celebrated a prime-time wedding in December, a cover story in People magazine wondered: Will it last?

Now people are asking the same question of the reality-TV fad that made the duo cover-worthy in the first place. Back for another round of stage-whispered cattiness and "final rose" ceremonies with new contestants this fall, "The Bachelor" has lost a third of its audience compared with last season, averaging just 8.3-million viewers — fewer than the number who tune in to the Wednesday version of the CBS newsmagazine "60 Minutes."

It's just one more bit of tarnish on TV's once-gilded reality boom, which has produced such monster hits as CBS' "Survivor" and Fox's "American Idol." Two other unscripted staples, NBC's "Apprentice 2" with Donald Trump and the gross-out contest "Fear Factor," have likewise suffered double-digit declines this fall, although both still perform respectably in their time slots.

Meanwhile, Fox executives, who heavily promoted "Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best," with thrill-seeking mogul Richard Branson pushing would-be subordinates through a gantlet of daring stunts, were stunned when the two-hour premiere bombed last week. Another impress-the-billionaire series, "The Benefactor" with Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, turned in abysmal numbers for ABC, despite an enviable time period adjacent to "Monday Night Football."

Instead of reality, viewers are — for the first time in years — buzzing about two new scripted dramas, ABC's darkly comic soap "Desperate Housewives" and the desert-island thriller "Lost." And that has executives reconsidering their on-again, off-again love affair with reality TV, with most agreeing that schedules were cluttered with too much of the format this fall. Sixty percent of Fox's new lineup this month consists of reality series — believed to be the highest proportion at any network within a regular season.

"It's not dead. It's certainly going to be a part of what we do," Steve McPherson, ABC's president of prime time entertainment, said of the genre. "But there haven't been 20 great new ideas, [and] there's been, like, 40 new shows."

Added Fox reality guru Mike Darnell: "Reality is becoming so much a part of the television landscape that it's suffering the same slings and arrows" as other forms of programming.

Since ABC's game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" with Regis Philbin kick-started the phenomenon in late 1999, the unscripted genre has been both savior and scourge of network bosses. They grew to love the format's seemingly limitless ratings potential, especially among young adults, even as they held their noses at the tacky excess on some shows, such as Fox's "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?" and ABC's "Are You Hot?: The Search for America's Sexiest People."

A few reality shows still post impressive numbers. ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" has bucked the overall trend, zooming 44% this fall, to 16 million viewers, according to figures from Nielsen Media Research. CBS' "Survivor: Vanuatu" is the No. 5 program overall, down just 6% compared to last year's "Pearl Islands" installments. "American Idol" is almost certain to post big numbers when it returns in January, and Tuesday, CBS will debut "Amazing Race: 6," the travel-adventure series that has gradually turned into a reliable hit.

But overall, unscripted series don't seem nearly as potent as they did two years ago, when Fox's prank romance "Joe Millionaire" soared out of nowhere to become the top show in the advertiser-friendly category of adults 18 to 49, or even as recently as last spring, when "Apprentice" bloomed into a pop-culture sensation. "For a time, there was an idea that this was a can't-miss format," said CBS research chief David Poltrack.

A number of reality series that seemed daring when they debuted now look tired, if only because viewers have seen them so many times, and in so many different variations on the same theme. "That sense of what is current and what is not changes very fast," said Tom Gutteridge, president of Fremantlemedia North America, which produces "Idol" and Fox's "The Swan."

Early on, "Fear Factor" was attacked for stunts that some viewers felt went beyond the pale. But the NBC show has aired 103 original episodes and is now in syndication, and repetition makes the shock value harder to sustain. "A lot of these shows are aging," Darnell said. "Age takes its toll."

Poltrack said CBS research also showed that viewers are weary of shows that exist simply to pit contestants against one another (i.e., knockoffs of "Survivor" ) or play elaborate practical jokes on participants ( la "Joe Millionaire" ). Instead, audiences are gravitating toward sentimental wish-fulfillment programs like "Home Edition," which several executives compared to the 1950s game show "Queen for a Day," which dispensed free washing machines to the contestants who told the saddest hard-luck stories. NBC's "The Biggest Loser" has also scored modest success with an uplifting take (notwithstanding the title) on weight loss.

Network executives, meanwhile, have less patience than they used to for reality shows that don't deliver big numbers. That's because, while the genre was once considered dirt-cheap programming, producers have fetched higher and higher prices for their output. NBC's boxing series "The Contender," coming in January, cost more than $2 million per episode — more than the license fee the network would pay for a new one-hour drama. "Reality shows have become as expensive as other shows," McPherson said.

Fox's own boxing-reality series, "The Next Great Champ," which had sparred in court with "The Contender" over concept issues, was KO'd after just four episodes by poor ratings. Subsequent installments were shifted to cable's Fox Sports Net.

Breathing a huge sigh of relief from the reality cool-down are TV writers, who had been shunted aside over the last few years as networks chased the next "Idol" or "Apprentice." TV script agents say that ABC's rivals are desperately seeking quirky dramatic series like "Housewives" and "Lost." And hit comedies are scarcer than at any time since the early 1980s.

But executives insist that viewers, far from calling it quits with reality TV, are simply looking for the next big thing.

As Darnell said, "Nothing's broken out [recently] at the level of 'Idol' or 'Survivor,' but something will. You just don't see it coming."
starone

Starship Captain
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« Reply #1 on: 11-15-2004 22:18 »

Looks like all that focus on reality shows has finally come back and bitten fox in the ass.
Squeaky

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #2 on: 11-15-2004 22:46 »

Well, that's a cool article, but I have to say this, why is reality TV so popular? I mean it's the same stuff on every show, people get voted off, some people get lucky (yes, I mean in that way), and someone ultimately wins a prize.
Eyedol7513

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #3 on: 11-16-2004 01:29 »

^That's what I'm trying to figure out. The only difference is the prize that's won, and the way of getting there. (The best reality show by far, in my opinion, was "Joe Schmo". NOT the second one, but the first one.)
Squeaky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #4 on: 11-16-2004 01:59 »

Well, that one was good because, it was FAKE, it didn't feature people eating "bull nuts" or some crap just to move on in the game.
DogDoo8

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #5 on: 11-16-2004 02:12 »

The thing that I find funny is that Reality TV is nothing like Reality what so ever. If they want reality tv, just go around and secretly film people doing what they do every day and chuck it on TV or even better yet, just become a Security Gaurd at a mall.

Anyway I'm just glad FOX is getten it put to them.

T.T.F.N.
Beamer

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #6 on: 11-16-2004 03:21 »

Yeah, I've been noticing there's been a lot less "reality TV" around these past few months, glad to see the fad is finally dying down, even if it did take longer than I expected for it to go away. Still, better late than never.  tongue
Yuki_in_space

Bending Unit
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« Reply #7 on: 11-16-2004 05:19 »

Yes, but what even stupider fad will replace reality TV? I think Henry Rollins hit it pretty close when he said "the people who make TV shows think you're an idiot". Yes, there are exceptions, but this is by far the norm.
spawn_2008

Bending Unit
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« Reply #8 on: 11-16-2004 18:33 »
« Last Edit on: 11-16-2004 18:33 »

Reality tv will never go away, just some shows, unfortunatly Simple Life is coming back for a third season, American Idol is coming back, and i'm sure we'll see survivor again.  I'd like to point out, that I hate reality shows, i've never watched any of the ones I listed above.  The only reality show that I watched was Joe Shmoe, and I liked it, probally because it was an anti-reality show, the only thing that was real was the Shmoe, everything else was scripted and rehearsed. 

I hope by 2006, most reality shows are gone, and just apart of history.

As long as people know they're on tv, they will never be "real", the only show I consider real, are those shows like Maximum Exposure and Real TV, the hidden camera shows. IMO of course.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #9 on: 11-16-2004 19:14 »

I could have told them the same shit, that reality tv would ultimately turn away viewers.  I think reality tv has a more specific audience then the networks realize (however big that audience may be), and if you don't offer something for everyone, only that very specific audience is going to maintain any interest in your network.  Its simple fact.

The internet and dvd players (among other things) are taking their toll as well, but here's something the networks could very easily control and they've been failing miserably.  Goes to show how many idiots there are in the tv business.
TheLampIncident

Urban Legend
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« Reply #10 on: 11-16-2004 19:20 »

Reality TV isn't real. Whenever I go to school, they don't have a tribal council and a vote to kick me out of class. Reality TV would make more sense if it didn't have voting.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: bring back the game show trend. People were actually motivated to learn things and we were celebrating a more powerful mind. My kingdom to see Who Wants To Be A Millionare on prime time again.
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #11 on: 11-16-2004 19:40 »

Or better yet, more prime time cartoons.  But that'll never happen...
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #12 on: 11-16-2004 19:44 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Nerd-o-rama:
Or better yet, more prime time cartoons.  But that'll never happen...

It'll happen eventually.  Its cyclical.  And probably already happening, with Adult Swim doing so well and Family Guy making a return to prime-time.

newhook_1

Urban Legend
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« Reply #13 on: 11-16-2004 19:55 »
« Last Edit on: 11-16-2004 19:55 »

Why the do shows like The Weakest Link, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire get lumped in with reality TV shows? They're goddamned game shows like the ones that have been around since the 50s, and unlike reality shows they're sometimes fun to watch. Are they saying that every unscripted show is reality TV? If that's the case, then why not call Wheel of Fortune, Football, and CNN reality TV?

As much as I hate it, reality TV isn't supposed to be true to life. It's supposed to create an unscripted alternate reality for the contestants, by putting them on an island to live, or making them run a resturant, or stuffing them all in a phone booth or whatever they do these days. The shows mentioned above don't create an alternate reality around an unscripted contest and therefore aren't reality television shows. 
Eyedol7513

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #14 on: 11-17-2004 00:52 »

Reality TV is a person(s) reaction to an event, without being scripted.
Therefore, game shows can be considered reality TV.
And Joe Schmo was a reality show, only one person was affected. (And some events that happened to the actors in that show were also unscripted, such as that Docotr woman hurting her head, and Molly "slipping out" of her bra.)
Nurdbot

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #15 on: 11-17-2004 07:29 »

Reality Television has always been crap in my eyes ('Cept Takishi's Castle, those crazy Nipponese!)and because of crap like that people actually never looked a few slots after and see the good stuff like our dear dead Futurama and watch that instead.

SlackJawedMoron

Urban Legend
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« Reply #16 on: 11-17-2004 08:07 »

Takishi's Castle was more of a gameshow, wasn't it?

In anycase, I predicted this decline in some thread or another, so all may worship me and my precognitive abilites. Wooo! I can see the blatantly obvious!

And so, a dark chapter in television history is closed. Next week: Pig fighting!
Nurdbot

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #17 on: 11-17-2004 11:56 »

It was Reality TV Slacky, when they got to the end and realised the whole hopelesness about winning the Castle.
Zmithy

Professor
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« Reply #18 on: 11-17-2004 16:59 »

Oh, dear, god, no, I just saw this:

Foxs plans US remake of Eastenders
Eyedol7513

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #19 on: 11-17-2004 21:06 »

^God help us all. FOX knows they're doing bad, so they have to go overseas to get ideas. (Wasn't there a remake of some foreign series that was broadcasted a year ago? It was something about friends living together, or something like that. I think it flopped.)
ShortRoundMcfly

Starship Captain
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« Reply #20 on: 11-17-2004 21:48 »

Reality TV had never ascended. I knew it was trouble from the start and I was only in the fifth grade. I just prayed back then that they would have the sense to stop after survivor.
Lrrr_2004
Starship Captain
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« Reply #21 on: 11-18-2004 21:20 »

Only if everyone would realize how bad reality tv is.  If you want reality, go live in a third world country for a few months.
newhook_1

Urban Legend
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« Reply #22 on: 11-18-2004 21:40 »

I'm not gonna live in a third world country with all the conformists.
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #23 on: 11-18-2004 22:50 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Eyedol7513:
^God help us all. FOX knows they're doing bad, so they have to go overseas to get ideas. (Wasn't there a remake of some foreign series that was broadcasted a year ago? It was something about friends living together, or something like that. I think it flopped.)

All American execs do anymore is ripoff foreing TV. 
Weakest Link?  British.
Home renovation shows? British.
Pretty much any sitcom made in the last five years?  British.
Everything on Broadcast that's not a rehash of something we've done in America is an import from Europe.  I hate TV.
Eyedol7513

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #24 on: 11-18-2004 23:22 »

Don't hate Nerd-o-rama. Just because the networks are going overboard with reality shows, doesn't mean the few good shows on are bad. (Although I can't think of any examples right now, I am sure there are some.)
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #25 on: 11-19-2004 00:22 »

On network TV, as far as I can tell, we've got The OC and The Simpsons (both on my least favorite network on general principle, oddly enough.)  That's about it.  Cable's a bit better just from variety.
Nurdbot

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #26 on: 11-19-2004 02:38 »

I remember the American attempt to create 'The Office', it failed. Poor Ricky Gervais was crushed.
Melllvar

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #27 on: 11-19-2004 02:46 »

Literally, under the weight of the enormous cheque he got.
Yuki_in_space

Bending Unit
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« Reply #28 on: 11-19-2004 02:55 »

*Zing*
The British versions of all those rip-off shows are much better anyway. My friend got me hooked on "What Not To Wear". I'm not hugely into fashion, but it's hilarious how rude those women are, and they are constantly grabbing people's asses or slapping their breasts. Funny stuff.
Nurdbot

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #29 on: 11-19-2004 07:18 »

I hate that show, I saw the little previews on BB2 and I thought those two must die.
Zmithy

Professor
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« Reply #30 on: 11-19-2004 11:49 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Yuki_in_space:
they are constantly grabbing people's asses or slapping their breasts. Funny stuff.
Especially when they did it to Jeremy Clarkson  laff .
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