Is The Writers' Strike Over? Not For Viewers.

In case you didn't know it, the writers' strike is still on.

As far as viewers can tell, there are few, if any, scripted shows on network schedules. From the viewer perspective, there is still no work from TV drama or comedy writers.

Weirdly, some of the trends that started back in January are still with us. On Wednesday, "American Idol" posted a 9.8 rating/25 share among 18-49 viewers -- now 37% lower than its season debut.

Again, we wonder why "Idol" isn't breaking records -- or at least on the upswing -- since it has virtually no competition. Seven reruns and seven reality shows aired on Wednesday. Two were reruns of reality shows - ABC's "Supernanny" and CW's "Pussycat Dolls: Girlicious."

All of which seems to lead to one major question, according to Horizon Media's Brad Adgate: Are audiences tired of reality shows -- or fatigued with "Idol"?

This should have been an easy night for any new show's "content" - but it didn't happen. There wasn't even a March Madness college basketball game to blame (which has also seen a bit of dip in the ratings since the series debuted on CBS last Thursday).

Adgate notes other stalwart reality shows are showing their age -- including "Survivor," "The Apprentice," and even "Dancing with the Stars."

Perhaps in networks' rush to air more reality shows -- cheap shows -- they went overboard. Then again, the writers' strike gave them little recourse.

Network programming chiefs would do well to ease up on reality for next season, or perhaps wait to come up with a new variation on the reality theme. ABC's "Oprah's Big Give" - while not totally a new spin on the "Extreme Makeover" aspirational reality idea - has a bit more story to it than most reality shows.

Until then, the real battleground is how well new scripted episodes do against those reality shows starting next month -- when reality TV typically picks up speed as the shows get closer to their final rounds.



Next story loading loading..