The year in reality TV, 2007

Despite all the predictions–or hopes–about its eventual downfall, reality TV is finishing its seventh year as a staple on network prime-time television. On cable, many networks have all but given their entire schedules over to unscripted programming. The quality of these shows ranges as much as their popularity, but nearly all of them offered something to talk about in 2007.

From Sanjaya and that bawling little girl to Charla’s triumphant return to The Amazing Race, there were plenty of noteworthy moments, whether they were shocking, awe-inspiring, or just weird. But beyond that Best Week Ever bait, some highlights and lowlights showed up repeatedly, often in different shows on different networks.

Here are those trends that I noticed in reality television this past year. Have a terrific rest of your 2007, and I’ll be back in 2008, ready for a writers’ strike-saturated market full of material for next year’s year-end lists.

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.