Episodic TV lost 3,523 roles for actors last year, in part due to reality’s growth

During the 2004-2005 television season, networks aired “5.1 additional hours per week of nonscripted programs (reality, news magazines, sports and variety) or the equivalent of 10 sitcoms or five drama series,” according to Variety.

Overall, “reality programming in primetime increased from 15 to 22 hours per week.” This led to a decrease of 3,523 roles for actors, 10 percent fewer roles than were available in 2003.

The numbers were compiled by the Screen Actors Guild, which said in its report, “The displacement of scripted series by reality programming continues to be a severe obstacle to a working actor’s ability to earn a living.”

Reality sucks air out of SAG [Variety]
Tv Performers Again Take Hit From Reality Programming, 2004 Casting Data Shows [Screen Actors Guild]

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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.