Number of reality TV production days up 128 percent in the first quarter

From January to March, there were 1,942 production days in LA dedicated to unscripted shows. That’s an incease of “128% from the same period a year ago, according to Film L.A. Inc., which coordinates film permits in the city and in unincorporated areas of the county,” the LA Times reports. A production day is “one day representing a day of work at a single location,” according to the paper, and that means that there were a lot more reality TV shows filming this year.

Although this may make fans of reality TV happy, those inside the industry are not, because “unscripted TV had fewer economic benefits than other types of television shows, and that Los Angeles continued to lose ground to locales outside the state, including other countries, that have lured productions with a bevy of tax incentives offered to film, TV and commercial producers,” the LA Times reports.

Film LA’s Steve MacDonald said, “The numbers are not very encouraging.” But according to the Times, “The surge in unscripted TV shoots by MTV, VH1 and other cable channels and broadcast networks triggered a modest increase in overall film and television production, which totaled 9,278 permit days, up 4% from a year ago.”

Production Days for ‘Reality’ TV Soar [LA Times]

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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.