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Reality TV titles slump on fall television schedules

By Wade Paulsen, 04/25/2003 

Looks like the reality TV boom may be reaching a crest this summer. The New York Post reports that TV network schedules for the fall will feature more scripted programming than previously anticipated, due to the difficulty of selling advertising on many reality shows.

Media buyers and TV executives quoted by the Post say that shows such as CBS's Survivor and The Amazing Race and Fox's Joe Millionaire will continue to sell advertising, since these shows "retain their franchises," in the words of one insider. However, shows such as ABC's Are You Hot? are cited as "cheesy copycats" that advertisers want to avoid.

One interesting sidebar in the story is that CBS's three reality shows (including Big Borther as well) cost 40% more per hour than the industry average to produce ... but they return almost triple the average per-hour profit. NBC, on the other hand, denigrates reality TV. No surprise that the network which developed Chains of Love and Lost, two of the biggest reality flops ever, would have a different view of the value of reality programming than CBS does.


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