Maybe it was DC Cupcakes, because we didn’t need another cable reality show about cake bosses. Or perhaps it was the latest chronicling of blue-collar workers in Alaska or Louisiana. (Doesn’t Crawfish Catchers look tedious? And we bet you can’t even tell whether that title is real or not).
Or it could have been Bravo’s seventh Real Housewives series.
Or E!’s fourth Kardashians title.
Whatever marked the official tipping point, it all feels familiar now: the master chefs, treasure seekers, tattoo artists, makeover experts, ghost hunters, dirty jobbers, untrained pets, C-list celebrity families, and glow-tanned bickering glambots overturning restaurant tables. We’ve been Flipping Out for years, and don’t necessarily want to flip out anymore. Even VH1’s Dating Naked, a series that got more buzz than any other new reality show in 2014, disappointed in the ratings (it debuted to just 826,000 viewers). You know a genre’s in trouble when hot naked singles rubbing body paint on one another can’t draw a crowd.
The diminishing returns of cable TV’s sea of reality sameness—ratings for 14 of the top 20 major cable channels declined in 2014—is one of the reasons networks that have devoted decades to producing unscripted shows are suddenly making dramas too. Bravo, E!, WGN, Pivot, WEtv, and even Animal Planet have all either recently launched, or are readying to launch, their first scripted shows.
“Every year the number of shows that premiere increases exponentially while the number that hit decreases exponentially,” says Lara Spotts, Bravo’s senior VP of development. “It’s the most Hunger Games-ian environment we’ve ever seen as programmers. We’re all trying as many strategic moves as we can.” READ FULL STORY