Tuesday, October 11, 2005

RATINGS BATH FOR REALITY SHOWS

To back up my rants about how no one wants to watch reality TV anymore: here's a story from the Hollywood Reporter. Already the networks are programming fewer shows, but even the ones still on the air are getting hit with big ratings declines.

Take a look at the numbers: Survivor, winning its time slot but nevertheless down 19% among 18-49. The Apprentice: losing its time slot, down 41%. The Biggest Loser: down 23%. Wife Swap, down 39%. The rest of the reality shows mirror this trend and are either flat or down. On Tuesday, The Amazing Race's usually big ratings are down by enough that Commander in Chief on ABC was able to beat it to be the most watched show on the night for its premiere. It's a carnage. By the way, The Amazing Race stinks this year. It's now Week 3 and these families of 4 haven't even made it out of the United States yet! Instead they're going to boring historical sites. Who cares about America, we see enough of the USA on all these other shows on TV. When are they hopping on an international flight out of the country?! That's usually the best part of the show, when they go to these foreign countries!!!

Only two new reality shows are on the air this fall on NBC: Martha Stewart, already moved in disgrace to 9PM against LOST: and Three Wishes, starring Amy Grant, which is flopping bigtime and which I expect to see cancelled any day now. They're turning away from the genre, these nets. They do plan to bring back The Bachelor and Beauty and the Geek, but no one is under any illusions that people will tune in. The Hollywood Reporter says FOX, which used to have a lineup filled with this junk, only has one reality show now, Nanny 911. And even I say that's one show too many.

Like I say, Reality TV's rep with the general public is up in smoke. Too much cheap junk, too much interference from producers, too much fighting. This genre has had it.

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