12 of top 20 shows are reality; TV “being driven by reality television.”

12 of top 20 shows are reality; TV “being driven by reality television.”
Here’s an article to print out and shove up the nostril of the next person you encounter who disses reality TV: As the New York Times reports, “In the current television season, 12 of the top 20 shows are reality shows.” And the president of 20th Century Fox Television, Dana Walden, says that the TV “business is being driven by reality television.” NBC’s Jeff Zucker agrees, says they realized that “the next ‘Friends’ was not a half-hour scripted comedy. It was The Apprentice.” FOX is essentially skipping the fall premiere season because of June premieres, fall baseball, and a presumed winter American Idol 4. Other reality TV shows will replace failed scripted shows. That has fallout for writers and actors: “big paydays for actors are drying up” and writers “can no longer command a big overall deal worth millions to create pilots,” the paper reports. Some good news: Another NBC exec says that advertisers are excited about “the right kind of reality–upscale reality.” In other words, maybe we’ll see fewer little grooms and more billionaires with scary hair.

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.