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How Much Reality Is Too Much Reality?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:20 pm
by Rayne
How Much Reality Is Too Much Reality?

Before we begin, no this is not a moan post; it is simply an expression of thought. I’d thought I’d have a look at the current television climate and wonder if reality television will ultimately alienate viewers with its heavy saturation of the prime time schedule.

Today, Sunday, alarm bells are going off with news that The Renovators will be stripped from 8.30pm onwards Sunday- Friday in the week beginning the 24th of July, with most of these instalments running for a whopping seventy minutes at a time. With MasterChef Australia airing its finals week, this means reality programming will stretch from 7.30pm- 9.50pm on most nights on TEN alone.

But that’s not it; in that same week, Seven has the grand finale of Australia’s Got Talent on Tuesday, the penultimate episode of The Amazing Race Australia (which has recently been renewed for a second season), six fresh episodes of The Block (three at one hour length), the premiere of Dinner Date and another episode of Top Design.

Spoiler: show
For a blogger like me, I will be expected to sit in front of the couch for up to 4 hours a night! As a reality television fan, this doesn’t bother me ONE BIT! I lurve reality, particularly elimination based shows; but for an average viewer who watches the format for the novelty, it may be a bit of an overload.

For those out there who thinks this week is a once off event, think again! Reality television is more dominant now than it ever has been before; and its dominance in Australian schedules is evident in the ratings.

Look back at last week, only ONE drama made it into the top 20. One! It was a decade ago when an event like this, or even the sheer mention of it, would be scoffed at. It was an impossibility!

I don’t have to stress again about the ‘changing times in television’ as I think we have all had that concept drummed down our throats enough. If anything, it shows us that overall, we may not have reached the peak of reality television’s popularity on screen.

In 2003 with Big Brother, The Block and Australian Idol all ratings powerhouses, many people assumed this is when reality hit its peak. The years to follow sure did see a huge drop in figures and the format could hardly sustain many seasons at all.

In 2008, the onslaught seemed to rise again with the dominance of formats such as So You Think You Can Dance Australia, The Biggest Loser and Australia’s Got Talent but with the demise of Aussie Idol and BB, plus some other failed concepts, reality television seemed to lose its glow again as Australian’s turned back to dramas such as Packed To The Rafters, Underbelly and City Homicide. Even TEN’s Rush debuted more solid than many would think, and Home & Away, Neighbours and All Saints were all delivering higher ratings.

But with the arrival and triumph of MasterChef Australia, the return of The Block and the revival of The X Factor through 2009-2010, Australian’s have now well and truly settled back into reality television with shows popping up everywhere. The Biggest Loser Families, My Kitchen Rules, The Farmer Wants A Wife, MasterChef Australia, Junior MasterChef Australia, Top Design, Four Weddings, Dinner Date, The X Factor, The Block, The Renovators, Australia’s Got Talent, The Amazing Race Australia, Dancing With The Stars, Undercover Boss Australia and The Beauty and the Beast Australia are all the reality television programs I can think of off the top of my head that will air in 2011 in Freeview prime time.

Looking back at the week that was, reality television took the top seven spots of the week and overall, thirteen separately coded reality shows filled the top 20.

In comparison, the comparable week in 2010 saw only 4 reality codings in the top 20. Sure, MasterChef was coded all together back then, but still, it allowed for more dramas to fill the void.

So the question is, is the format hitting a peak, or are we about to see year after year of reality television dominating the schedules like dramas did back in the 90’s, until a new fad rolls along down the track?

Relevant questions, but looking at the overall question in well, question, is there too much reality television on the box right now?

Like any format, I don’t think you can ever have enough until they create a new channel just to accommodate more; then you have a problem. If it was possible, I could just teleport back to the 80’s and 90’s and complain about the drama overload or the US import overload like people are doing now with reality.

At the end of the day, it is just a different drama. You will meet people in life who will say something like ‘reality television is rubbish; it isn’t even television’ or ‘there’s too much reality television on the box these days, it’s stupid’.

Simple point is, these people are just your average whingers who have nothing better to do than campaign to get a show like Number 96 to return to television because despite being past its used by date, it can remind them of the bygone era when these people ACTUALLY had lives.

Back in the 90’s, there were whingers for the shows on the box then; but without the prominence of social media, these views were avoidable.

Today, you can’t go a day without one comment saying something overly negative about a reality television program; but you can rest assured the prominence of these comments have not fooled programmers. Evidently, ratings for these programs have continued to rise, to record peaks in some cases, despite the apparent rise in criticism.

Most of these people like to criticise shows that are succeeding, just because of their success. Move these comments aside and reality television fans are overall impressed with what they see, tuning in every week and following their favourite shows in record numbers online and on twitter.

There may be quite a bit of reality on the box next week; but in the grand scheme of things, there are at least 12 other channels at all times NOT showcasing reality television at any one time, so what is there to complain about.

If you are committed to sitting down and watching EVERY minute of EVERY show for the night; it will take up your evening; but the networks and the fans will be all the more thankful for your contribution to the following.

To conclude, there is A LOT of reality on television right now, but television as a whole isn’t something that takes up a whole lot of people’s lives. Despite being a television blogger, even my life only involves at most 10% dedication to the box.

If you don’t like it, turn it off; the simple fact is, despite the reality overload, the ratings justify their presence. No amount of negative criticism will topple a show if it is getting decent ratings and therefore, when reviewing this question, this factor can simply be omitted. In saying that, how much reality is too much reality?

However many hours it takes up right now is clearly not too much. ... ch-reality

I think there's too much of the same type of reality shows. For example, next week on Wednesday night there is The Block at 7.00, Top Design at 7.30 and The Renovators at 8.30 - two and a half hours of competitive renovation. I also don't like this "stripping" shows 5 or 6 nights a week. I have no interest in reality TV of any kind, but Mr Rayne likes the renovation type shows (when they show any actual renovation work that is and not silly challenges!).

Thank goodness for being able to record other shows to watch in the bedroom, books and the internet.

Re: How Much Reality Is Too Much Reality?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:26 pm
by Fringedweller
Oh! I thought you were talking about reality.

*Fingedweller backs out of thread, leaving discussion regarding free-form game shows to those who are interested in that topic.*

Re: How Much Reality Is Too Much Reality?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:19 pm
by Cyborg
before these new digital channels we only really had say 3 main ones per year on the main channels. like Ten would have 3-4 month blocks of shows like Big Brother, Australian Idol and such but now I've noticed theres so much more.. especially on the new channels. 7mate lately have had on heaps of them on Wednesday and Thursday nights, with some on Saturday and Sunday Nights. then theres One with Idiot Abroad and a few others here and there. Eleven seem to be showing quite a few on Friday and Saturdays, which a couple failed on Sundays but they are airing more then Ten right now.

I don't watch any of them really, the only one I really liked and enjoyed was 'The Osbournes'. they should re-air that!!

Re: How Much Reality Is Too Much Reality?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:06 am
by PCH
Seems that Australia and the US are much alike in that there has been an explosion of reality shows.

I do watch a couple, such as some of the extremely trashy Housewives shows (a guilty pleasure) and for some reason I found Ice Road Truckers riveting last year. Go figure.

But in general, I agree with what's been said above. Not a great fan of reality shows and would rather see scripted shows in primetime.

That said, aren't they just a lot cheaper to produce in general, which is why there are so many of them?

Re: How Much Reality Is Too Much Reality?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:35 pm
by Rayne
The Block 7.00pm - 7.30pm
Top Design 7.30pm - 9.10pm
The Renovators 8.40pm - 9.50pm

An entire prime time evening taken up with reno reality. :roll: And that's not counting MasterChef. I guess some people will not be happy with the clash between Top Design and The Renovators!

Me - I'm retreating to the bedroom with the VCR and a couple of tapes (yes I still do use the old technology! :lol: )

Re: How Much Reality Is Too Much Reality?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:21 am
by Rayne
Renovation Domination

Interesting blog article and I agree completely with the writer, particularly about the similarity between episodes which I noticed last week even though I wasn't even paying much attention :)

Re: How Much Reality Is Too Much Reality?

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:49 am
by Rayne
The Reality of TV from April 15 - More reality than ever.

Once again, we ask - just how much is too much reality TV?

From April 15, there will be major chunks of our weekly schedule where reality TV will air on Seven, Nine and Ten at the same time.

Even without confirmation of all timeslots (at time of posting), it is clear that reality fans will need at least a twin channel PVR, and the ability to watch a third channel live as well as alot of time on their hands to be able to catch everything on offer from April 15. This does not take into account titles coming to Foxtel, nor US titles in the mix.

At 6.30pm Sunday April 15, Ten will continue with The Biggest Loser. At the same time, Nine will launch new singing reality show The Voice, while Dancing with the Stars is back on Seven for yet another season.

Monday April 16 sees The Biggest Loser continue at 7pm, now up squarely against Nine's The Block 2012, which is set to air 7pm weeknights. The Biggest Loser and The Block will air at the same time Monday to Thursday.

Interrupting Nine and Ten's 7pm starting shows, will be Seven's Australia's Got Talent from 7.30pm Monday April 16, continuing on Tuesday and Wednesday night that week.

On Wednesday April 18, Nine premieres the second season of Celebrity Apprentice Australia from 8pm.

At time of writing, we do not yet know what other nights The Voice will air on, other than its premiere night, nor if Celebrity Apprentice will air more than once per week.

But even before these times are added to the schedule, there are timeslots where all three commercial networks are airing reality TV. For those who do not like reality TV? Try ABC, SBS or time to give the digitals a look-in during prime time.

Looking at Sunday - Wednesday, here's the summary of overlapping reality shows across the three commercial channels.

Sunday April 15
6.30-7.30 3 - DWTS / Loser / Voice
7.30-9.00 1 - DWTS

Monday April 16
7.00-7.30 2 - Loser / Block
7.30-8.00 3 - Loser / Block / AGT
8.00-9.00 1 - AGT

Tuesday April 17
7.00-7.30 2 - Loser / Block
7.30-8.00 3 - Loser / Block / AGT
8.00-8.30 1 - AGT

Wednesday April 18
7.00-7.30 2 - Loser / Block
7.30-8.00 3 - Loser / Block / AGT
8.00-8.30 2 - AGT / CelebAp
8.30-9.00 1 - CelebAp

In coming weeks, The Biggest Loser will conclude, and Masterchef will take over its 7pm timeslots, as well as at least an hour on Sunday nights. Additional timeslots for The Voice and Celebrity Apprentice not yet confirmed. Australia's Got Talent will settle into a regular weekly Tuesday night timeslot, and The Amazing Race Australia will air probably from a date in May. ... ality-ever

Re: How Much Reality Is Too Much Reality?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:23 am
by Rayne
This year we have more of the same...reality shows on all 3 of the main channels at the same time, plus Nine and Seven are the main culprits at having their shows run over time so a show that was meant to start at 8.40/8.45 now starts close to 9pm :evil:

I do not watch "reality" tv. I prefer dramas - and not the manufactured and manipulative "drama" of so many like MKR, The Block, Celebrity Apprentice and Biggest Loser. Reading people's comments and from catching glimpses of the promos of these shows, it appears that a lot more bitchiness and "bullying/humiliating" behaviour has crept in. It's not all about the cooking or whatever now - it's about how nasty you can be to someone.

And people seem to be lapping it up, which I find really sad. Having been a victim of bullying at school and later on survived an emotionally abusive marriage, I do not want to see similar behaviour on my tv.

Re: How Much Reality Is Too Much Reality?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:22 am
by Rayne
YES! Maybe we will get less of it next year *I live in hope*

Viewers turning against “Reality crap” ... -crap.html

Re: How Much Reality Is Too Much Reality?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:29 am
by Jayel
I don't know how come it's taken me 3 years to find this thread!
I am totally over the likes of Idol,SYTYCD,The Voice - adults, and I couldn't bare even the ads for the kids, X Factor, Australia Has Talent and all the other ones, but I still have a chuckle at The Bachelor, and I still look forward to Big Brother and I like Masterchef as I love cooking, myself, but I know what you mean with a million renovation shows, and I can't believe they've got this new Block only within a couple of months of the last one.

Rayne, have you upgraded to DVD recorder now, or are you still using the VCR? :<|
Spoiler: show
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: