Despite some hits, summer ratings are down

Network ratings this summer “are down a collective 10% among adults 18-49 vs. last summer — and 15% in viewers 18-34,” Variety reports. While dramas and sitcoms have also seen a decline in viewers, the slew of summer reality shows that the networks sort of barfed up didn’t all do well. There were hits–Dancing with the Stars, Hell’s Kitchen–but there were plenty of misses.

An NBC scheduling exec, Mitch Metcalf, tells Variety that “A couple years ago, just about any reality show you launched in the summer could at least improve the time period if not move toward the top of the ratings. That’s over.” He notes that, “If it had a distinctive hook or a bigger-than-life character to it, people responded.”

In other words, if the show didn’t suck, people watched. Variety also notes that a lot of these shows were old. For example, “most of the half-dozen reality skeins launched by NBC since June had been languishing on Peacock shelves for months.” For example, Average Joe: The Joes Strike Back‘s “production had been completed nearly a year ago.”

Summer reality sinks in [Variety]

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.