TV Season Endings: More On-Air Promo Time Goes For Unscripted TV Shows

Heading into the final weeks of the TV season, much on-air TV network promotion is going to unscripted, reality-based TV shows, versus typically many scripted entertainment TV shows of TV seasons past.

Just three of the top 20 promoted TV network shows over a recent four-week period (March 19-April 17) were of scripted TV shows, according to  -- Hallmark’s "When Calls the Heart" (660 million impressions), AMC’s "Better Call Saul"(621 million), and CBS' "Ghosts" (504 million).

TV networks have been gradually transitioning many shows to earlier season-enders over the past few years, which has affected TV show marketing. Also affecting on-air promotion is that more next-day streaming of many scripted TV shows is available. 

Top unscripted/reality TV shows this year so far include NBC’s "American Song Contest" with 942 million impressions, followed by TBS' "Rat in the Kitchen" at 788 million, Paramount Network "Bar Rescue" (780 million) and Food Network's "Chef Boot Camp" (759 million).



A year ago, during the same time period, ten of the top 20 TV shows in terms of impressions were of scripted entertainment TV shows.

This list Includes "Rebel" (ABC); "Home Economics" (ABC); "United States of Al" (CBS); "Chad" (TBS): "Law & Order: SVU" (NBC); "Clarice" (CBS); and "The Equalizer" (CBS); "When Calls The Heart" (Hallmark); "Blue Bloods" (Ion Television) and "Cruel Summer" (Freeform).

ABC’s “Rebel” for example, witnessed 1.2 billion impressions over the four-week period.

In the past, many TV networks used their advertising/promotional time to hype up end-of-the season-ending, high-profile, scripted TV shows, where the TV season ends in the last days in May. 

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