Popular reality shows draw 8 to 10 percent of their audiences from kids ages 2 to 11

Reality TV shows remain popular among kids ages 2 to 11, and sometimes provide 10 percent of a show’s entire audience.

This season, “none of the top eight programs among kids 2-11 are comedies or dramas,” Variety reports, and that means kids form a significant percentage of some shows’ overall audiences.

American Idol “pulls in an average of 3.5 million kids 2-11 (10.5% of its 33.6 million viewers overall)” on Tuesdays, “and its Wednesday edition, which airs mostly in the 9 o’clock hour, draws 3.1 million (or 9.4% of its overall aud of 33 million),” according to Variety.

The same is true of Survivor; its audience is 8.1 percent kids ages 2 to 11, while on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, “9.9% of its 14.4 million viewers” are kids. And 5.5 percent of the older-skewing Dancing with the Stars audience is in that age group.

Reality rates high with families [Variety]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.