There is some mid-season reality fare coming, but none for the key fall start of the season.
This doesn’t mean reality shows are taking a backseat. Far from it. Existing big reality shows -- “The Voice,” “Survivor,” “The Bachelor” and “Dancing with the Stars” -- offer up good numbers. And then there is the summer -- including “America’s Got Talent” and “So You Think You Can Dance?” and other fare.
For the current season, NBC’s “The Voice” averages a Nielsen 2.9 live program/same day 18-49 rating and 11.6 million overall viewers. ABC’s “The Bachelor” earned a 2.4 rating and 8 million overall viewers. CBS’s best this past year comes from “Survivor: Kaoh Rong,” averaging a 2.01 18-49 rating and 8.9 million overall viewers.
Fox will be looking for a big replacement for its reality efforts. It still earned a nice 2.25 rating in 18-49 and 9.2 million overall viewers for the last season of “American Idol.” Its best results after “Idol” was“MasterChef Junior” -- well down the list at 1.24 18-49 average rating and 4.1 million overall viewers.
But listening to TV network programming chiefs, you might believe doing more scripted shows could be better business -- especially with new digital deals for Netflix, Hulu and the rest. Not many -- if any -- reality TV shows have rerun value on these digital platforms.
Then think about the rise of other “premium” content on prime time, especially NFL games, which may also be pushing possible new reality shows off the schedule.
When the age of the network reality show started up around 2000 with the first “Survivor,” many advertisers initially viewed reality series as less than “premium” TV network content.
Now think about what TV network executives have been recently discussing when it comes to new digital video platforms -- that many provide less than “premium” content. Maybe some sub-premium TV content also exists on big screen network schedules as well.