Is reality tv here to stay?


I think we're at the peak of reality show popularity. It's everywhere. Do you think it'll wear out soon or continue for the next decade?


Hopefully it gets replaced by something worth watching, like more Law and Order or maybe Code Geass. To be honest, only the masses watch reality TV, and they're the ones that seem to rule the roost.
I really don't think it's fair to lump these b-rated shows as the 'reality tv' genre. i mean reality TV can include game shows such as Jeopardy!, which are entertaining, or even the local news (as it's real and live), sports, competitions, the olympics, anything that's real. but this scripted junk is hardly what i call 'reality tv' even though that's the first thing which comes to mind when anyone mentions 'reality tv'

Shows such as 'Million Dollar Password' are technically 'reality tv' but it's also known to most as a 'game show' even though most scripted reality-based shows try to badly mimic game shows.

Some just have gone too long. like the Power Rangers (which isn't reality tv but has gone on and on and on and on again), shows such as Survivor and American Idol are just dragging on and on and on. it's no longer worth seeing, since it is like endless reruns.

However, i wouldn't mind an interesting theme for a reality scripted show, such as American Idiot, or America's most wacky motocross accidents, or 'America's top bloopers' or something that people would watch, while retaining the scripted reality tv theme but in a interesting style.
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Super Moderator
I say it's just like what happened to the FM radio band in the 1970 => 1990. At first as licenses became easier to get, there was diversity. Soon those too diverse were losing money and copied the successful stations. In the end there were 4 types of stations. Rock, Country, Classical, Religious (Talk had not hit FM band around me yet at that time).

But there is a little hope. FM in the last 5 years has begun to diversify a little. There are the old Classic Rock stations, the ones that play new mixed with stuff back 20 years, those that only play hits. I don't listen to country so I don't know what has happened there. But now most towns even smaller ones (150,000) are getting low power Jazz stations and a few other diverse programs.

Cable brought us the same thing. Years of 3, the PBS, then FOX. Cable and sat come along with more channels and add diversity. Well the diverse again lost money. Now it's more of the same as you turn the dial (well there used to be a dial knob to turn).

Broadcast in the last couple years seems to be going through the phase of copy cat channel to channel.

Diversity doesn't make much money. It's why a 5KW FM station can survive with a cheap satellite program feed that even inserts their call sign for them and local ads. Still though programmed from a town 500 miles away or more it is diverse.

Broadcasting TV is expensive. They can't afford a failed experiment. It will be much slower to change. LP TV to provide any content costs almost as much to do as a high power station, unless they just let satellite feeds run on subchannels, inserting the bug to comply with ID rules. Maybe that is the future of diverse TV.
TV is beginning to remind me of school uniforms. everything's the same.
I agree with you, I have felt that was the case since the strikes some time back. There seems to be very little creativity these days, its all about shock and outrageous behavior. Give me campy but imaginative, give me serious re-enactment give me something better then I can get by sitting on my own front porch and watching the neighbors.

wheres alf when you need him?


Super Moderator
Viewers drive it. Just like said happened to FM band. Once stations copy catted other stations their ad revenue went higher. Same now with TV. People want more reality shows. So they put them on. Viewership goes up, revenues go up. It's a wave of influence from the viewers and the stations are responding.

It reflects America getting less educated I think. My generation, graduated 90 to 95% of the people entering 9th grade as Seniors. Today it's about 55%. A great deal of my generation when to Community College.

With people my age if you are not in a ghetto or backwoods, you can say that looks like a Frank Lloyd Wright design and they know what you mean. Picasso painter not a photographer. They could make change without a cash register counting backwards. and on and on and on........

They had been exposed to some math, science, humanities, history, etc.

My kids despite being shown there was more, rejected it as a culturally uncool to know that stuff. Instead they can tell you who played in which movie. Quote every rapper that ever recorded. And they all love reality shows.

So with the country putting out half the people without even a high school education, that is plenty to drive what the TV stations are told they want more more more of mindless excitement.

You can't replace a high school degree with a GED, well not the one I was lucky enough to get.

Speaking of which, in turn to stop the drop out and increase test scores, most local schools have dropped things like physical education and the arts. The money is spend on more math and reading teachers. Then the teachers are told to teach to the test. No individual experience, it's wastes time. No rounding of education, it wastes money and time.

Now with the economy in a downturn it has gotten worse as the art and music teacher are the first to be laid off.