Sitcoms vs Reality Shows?

NY Times published a bold statement this week: “Comedy looks resurgent; and reality shows, at least reality competition shows, may be reaching the saturation point.” Over the past 10 years, all the hype has been around reality television – whether it is a reality show competition, or a show that follows the drama of our favorite celebrities (eh…people who WANT to be celebrities).

Now? Sitcoms, but in particular comedic sitcoms, seem to be coming back to life. Think: ‘Two and a Half Men‘ with new Star Ashton Kutcher, and ‘Modern Family‘ with its 5 Emmy wins and “Best Comedy” win (even when up against the over-hyped ‘X Factor‘). Monday Night Football has always stolen the spotlight because hey, who doesn’t love watching football. But, believe it or not, ‘Two and a Half Men’ is giving football a run for its money with its 28MM viewers for the season premiere (a number usually only seen for postseason NFL football)!

So why the drop-off in interest in reality TV? Preston Beckman, the Executive Vice President for Strategic Planning at Fox stated that some viewers may have learned they can skim reality shows and see all they need “in about three minutes.” With comedy scripts being wittier than ever, and The Bills, Lions, and Raiders leading their divisions (for now of course), there’s enough entertainment to keep me occupied without having to sit through 2 hours of so-called “singers.”

Are you a reality buff, a sitcom junkie or a sports fanatic? Or all of the above? Let us know what you’re watching this season.

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One thought on “Sitcoms vs Reality Shows?

  1. great post – what the “Times” fails to consider is the economic relationship between reality and scripted programs. Reality shows are so cheap to produce, and so lucrative when they success, that they effectively subsidize more expensive dramas and sitcoms. Networks can use the money they save on unscripted to pay for higher quality, riskier scripted stuff.

    Everyone wins.

    While the critics and highbrow folks like the Times would love reality to disappear, it will never happen under these economic realities.

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