reality shows helping A&E succeed.

reality shows helping A&E succeed.
A&E’s relentless focus on reality television programming was a strategy designed to attract the kids with cheap shows. And it worked: In “2004, A&E’s ratings rose 34 percent among adults 18-49, and 76 percent among adults 18-34,” Mediaweek reports. Plus, “A&E last year snagged 24 Emmy nominations–more than any other ad-supported cable net.” The network’s new president, Abbe Raven, says, “When we set out to transform A&E, we went after nonscripted programs because we knew it would resonate with younger audiences. We knew we could execute it quickly and, from a production standpoint, we knew we could roll out with it continually.” The network’s successes include Airline; Dog the Bounty Hunter, which kicked off its second season last night; Family Plots; Intervention, which is averaging 1.3 million viewers; and Knievel’s Wild Ride, which also kicked off last night and follows Robby Knievel’s attempts to not die while doing crazy stuff. A&E is doing so well that The Boston Globe also has a write-up about its success, giving the network yet another tongue kiss.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.