2010 Obsession: Reality TV
This year, TV fans bid a sad farewell to some beloved scripted programming, with long-time favorites such as “Law & Order,” “24,” “Lost” and newcomers such as “Rubicon” and “Terriers” leaving behind empty space in a lot of DVRs.
At the same time, we couldn’t get enough of reality TV, not just in the primetime line-up, but in our conversations around dinner tables and at office parties.
This was the year that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin launched a reality show, her daughter danced “With the Stars,” Snooki went to court for “Jersey Shore” antics and the Salahis prepped for that now infamous White House state dinner on “The Real Housewives of D.C.”
But while reality TV and its participants may get the attention with publicity-creating headlines and, in some cases, ratings, that doesn’t mean the viewing public is ready for an all-reality diet just yet, said TVGuide.com’s Mickey O’Connor.
“It’s cyclical. If you go back and look at ABC’s scheduling of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ four nights a week, there’s probably an article posted around that time that [said] scripted TV is dead,” he said. “But I do think that TV networks are getting smarter about marketing their reality shows. They’re getting smarter about marketing the people who are on their reality shows as commodities, as celebrities.”
Entertainment Weekly’s Lynette Rice agrees that the recent TV season has been the exception and not the rule when it comes to reality TV, particularly on the big four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox).
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