September 18th, 2010
01:30 PM ET
Don't tell Snooki, but it looks like the end of reality TV is near. At least, that's the opinion of one network exec.
"I think we've probably exhausted 80 percent of reality," NBC Universal Television Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin, who once headed up reality programming for the peacock network, told the Wall Street Journal.
Blame it on over-saturation. Since scoring huge ratings with megahits like "Survivor," "American Idol" and "The Bachelor" a decade ago, the networks have created endless variations on the same formats, racing to get them on air whenever they need a ratings boost.
But as Lisa Quan, vice president of audience analysis at Magna Global, told the WSJ, "Plugging in a reality show wherever you have a problem with your schedule is not going to help in the long run."
Still, with Fox's "American Idol" going for ratings gold with the rumored addition of new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, and Bravo's successful "Real Housewives" franchise launching a Beverly Hills edition in October, it looks like Snooki will be fighting and fist-pumping on the "Jersey Shore" for a little while longer.
As NBC's Gaspin notes of the reality genre, "That doesn't mean there's not another 20 percent to mine and create hits. I just think they're going to be fewer and further between."
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