Networks cutting reality show budgets

Get ready for even cheaper-looking reality TV shows, as networks–broadcast and cable–are cutting budgets even for the shows that once were considered cheap alternatives. “Producers are being urged to shoot shows faster than ever and use indoor settings to help reduce expenses,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Uber VH1 producer Mark Cronin said, “Every year there’s more and more budgetary pressure. Every network is having its budgetary problems, and that’s being pushed back toward all content. So there’s a constant pressure to produce more for less.” Howard Owens, who produces American Gladiators, told the paper, “Networks want smaller budgets and more studio shows. They don’t want you to shoot for nine days an episode that you’ll have to edit for eight weeks.”

Cronin said the most horrifying thing of all: that viewers just might not care. “Audiences seem to be very forgiving of what we used to think of as unspeakably low production values,” he said.

Nets look to cut reality costs [Hollywood Reporter]

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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.