Researcher Predicts Decline for Reality Series

Oct 13, 2004  •  Post A Comment

A researcher at a media buying company is predicting that the growth of reality series on the broadcast networks will reverse itself next season.

Steve Sternberg, executive VP and director of audience research at Magna Global USA, noted that reality shows displaced scripted series this season, with the networks adding 10 hours of reality and reducing the number of scripted hours by the same amount. “But given the number of failed and borderline entries so far this season, and the success of some new scripted series, ‘CSI: NY,’ ‘Lost’ and ‘Desperate Housewives,’ a reverse of last season may occur,” he wrote in a report.

Mr. Sternberg said one reason reality is slipping is that the networks are running the reality shows opposite one another, splitting the target young demographics. The shows are also being rerun within the same week, further hurting the networks’ ratings. He also observed that few reality programs have had any significant impact on their lead-out programs.