Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Just Means Less For Me

USAToday is reporting today, in a top-of-the-fold story in the Money section, about the increase in reality-television programming, and the prospects for the future. It isn't good:
These shows, which test people's talents, endurance or simply their tolerance for humiliation, filled 13% of broadcast networks' prime-time schedules last month. The share could be 40% this summer. And they'll represent a big chunk of fall lineups for the 2003-04 TV season.

"In the 27 years I've been in the business, I have never seen the landscape of TV move as quickly as it has over the last few months," says NBC Group President Randy Falco.
I don't watch these programs. I don't watch much television any more, except as background noise. This is part of the reason why.

These shows are popular, so the networks will clone them endlessly until they aren't. They're much cheaper to produce than scripted dramas or sitcoms to begin with, and because they are produced in-house, or in co-production deals, the networks get to keep a larger slice of the pie while holding down costs.

But as the article points out, audience share continues to fall and fall. Fewer people than ever are watching television. In fact, more people bowl in any given week than watch television!

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