ABC VP says reality “is viewed as equally important as comedy and drama”

A panel discussion about reality TV, one that was interrupted by WGAw protesters, found that “media reports suggesting television reality series are losing popularity are overblown,” according to TV Week.

Although I agree with them, they’re not exactly an objective panel, as every one of them is either a reality show producer or a network reality show programmer/executive, so their jobs kind of depend upon the genre sticking around.

Perhaps most significantly, ABC’s Andrea Wong, who serves as executive VP of alternative programming, said, “The unscripted area at ABC is viewed as equally important as comedy and drama.” Although her network is still airing The Bachelor and cancelled The Mole, it has had successes recently with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Dancing with the Stars.

Bunim-Murray Producers’ Jonathan Murray noted that Starting Over is “half the cost of ‘Passions.’ Maybe reality will replace daytime soaps.”

In the most shocking admission, American Idol‘s executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said that he doesn’t like product placement, even though his show relentlessly whores Coca-Cola and Ford. “If I had my way I’d never do it,” he said.

Panel: Reality Genre Not Dead Yet [TV Week]

Frankie leads Big Brother's parade of delusion

Frankie on Big Brother

Heading into the finale, the delusion continues, with a re-appearance by evicted Frankie.

Related: The unwatchable cast of Fox's Utopia keeps yelling and screaming.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.