MTV’s ratings down 23% among 12- to 34-year-olds

MTV, the network that brought us reality television in its modern form, has watched its ratings plummet this past year, which is why it is introducing a number of new and somewhat different shows.

The network’s ratings among viewers 12 to 34, its core demographic, are down 23 percent during the fourth quarter, while in the past six months, its “numbers for females 12-24 cratering 33% and males 12-24 dropping 24%,” Variety reports. Even The Hills has lost 26 percent of its viewers ages 12 to 34.

That’s led to what Variety calls “a major programming overhaul” for the network, although it describes the shows as “more toward the meta-scripted reality” of The Hills, which is odd because many of the new shows just announced seem like the opposite of that show, like College Life, which lets first-year college students film their own lives.

And MTV Networks president Brian Graden told the paper that the “new shows will feature themes of affirmation and accomplishment. Our shows are going to focus less on loud and silly hooks and more on young people proving themselves. These are themes that are consistent with the Obama generation.”

He did say that the network “needed a new visual language” and that some new shows will have “the cinematic feel of ‘The Hills.'” With College Life, Graden said “You get an intense sense of reality that you haven’t seen on television before. These are (techniques) that are interesting that I don’t see anyone else doing.”

At least MTV is keeping its short attention span: College Life‘s production and aesthetic has a lot in common with a Showtime series that debuted five and a half years ago.

MTV plans 16 new reality shows [Variety]

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.