NBC exec: Reality TV hits harder to come by
September 18th, 2010
01:30 PM ET

NBC exec: Reality TV hits harder to come by

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."

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. capone Gee

    i have the greatest idea for a reality show, but i have no idea where to start with pitching it...any suggestions????

    October 14, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LOST

    Reality TV SUCKS! only good show left is "the office" and HBO...

    September 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ladyinstl

    reality tv used to be fun, and the reason why was REAL people. if it isn't a diet or cooking show, most of the contestants are people who are coiffed and gorgeous, looking to be famous, and so the realism is lost. mtv and their shows back when reality tv was the rage, had it right. the cast of the 'real world' was not walking the red carpet (but we still knew them), but yet the kids from 'jersey shore' are paid to be ridiculous (sorry snooks). if the producers were only giving camera time, and not paying for face time, the shows would be a lot better in my opinion.

    September 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ruth Zahnd

    Thank God for that. Such trash as Reality TV has come up with, we do not need.

    September 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. katie

    THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!

    September 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. haha

    A caveman could've told them that overdoing something is not good.

    September 20, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. mcflint

    NBC Exec...hmmm. I think I'll wait for a second opinion. (Although I hope he's right!).

    September 20, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. teh obvious

    @NBC exec

    omg teh exec is teh clueless! who wouldve guessed?

    September 20, 2010 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. brian

    You can only milk a cow so long before it gives out. I think people are tired of fake (unreal) people in manipulated and highly editted scenes, the egotistical rampages of the pretty boys and girls so disconnected from the real world, People that bully and conive to achieve their 15 minutes of fame. I think many in the aaudience can no longer identify with these characters. All this also shows how disconnected the producers are from the rest of the country and the world, or will they keep pushing until we have The Running Man on tv?

    September 19, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Papa Rich

    Does this mean the dumbing down of America will end soon?

    September 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. stu

    of course this comes from an exec from NBC= #4 in the big network ratings.

    September 19, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Head Diva In Charge

    I think they could still have hits, but they are choosing the wrong age group. The reason Bravo does well is because they target 30+. I think the Real World should do one with career people in thier 30's.....the drama would be smarter, funnier, and all around better.

    September 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Frank

    "That doesn't mean there's not another 20 percent to mine and create hits."

    Next up: The Running Man and Gamer become reality, public executions, drug overdoses and extreme torture (of both animals and humans – only the pu$$ies will watch the animal torture, though. Humans are the ultimate thrill.) <<<<<<<< This will be your entertainment. Just watch.

    September 19, 2010 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. Cathy

    Thank god! May the genre rest in peace!

    September 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JC

    Thank God. Maybe TV can go back to quality scripted shows. So many great TV shows have failed in the last 10 years due to reality TV dominating the airwaves. While there are only so many doctor/lawyer/cop shows out there, there are several good ideas that need to be expanded on and could last for years. I hope 10 years from now worthless shows like "American Idol" and "Survivor" have fallen by the wayside, or even kept on in the summer season.

    September 18, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  16. SKY


    September 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  17. SKY


    September 18, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  18. P^Man

    No more fresh ideas,I guess.

    September 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  19. portalpunk

    FIRST!!! reality TV is my fave! i <3 the batchler and the one with the girl. anyone remember that one called joe millionaire? its so old school.

    September 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |

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