Reality bites — at least for many of its producers.
It’s been more than 15 years since the heyday of unscripted TV, a frenzied era when megahits like “Survivor
” launched, surprises like “Joe Millionaire
” came out of nowhere, and it seemed like almost any topic could become a phenomenon.
Now, with fewer instant hits and the focus on this golden age of scripted TV, malaise and fear have swept in. Reality TV has become a mature business, which means the shows are more expensive, profit margins have been squeezed, and ratings are down — yet producers are being asked to do more.
You could forgive the average reality producer for being a bit down in the dumps. But according to a new survey of the top reality producers in the U.S., conducted by Variety and PactUS (an association of independent TV producers), that’s only half of the story.
Although producers are feeling the financial squeeze, with