USA Today is running an AP Story on the decreasing cost of reality shows, while more and more are being developed (hopefully AP won’t send a take-down notice for quoting a paragraph):
Reality shows already were TV’s low-budget alternative. Producing one on a broadcast network can cost about $950,000 per episode, vs. $1.7 million for a scripted drama, largely because reality shows don’t use as many expensive actors and writers. And advertisers like how reality TV can give them inexpensive air time if they give the production free goods and services. Add it up and a network can eke out a profit, even if a reality show’s audience is fairly small.
The article also talks about how currently among the broadcast networks there are 32 reality shows that have either been ordered, are already in production or are in the development phase. That compares to this time last year when there were only 21 such shows. The trend isn’t particularly surprising (though I’m sure it will tick off plenty of our readers) and extends to cable as well, where there are 160 shows in one of those phases this year compared to 109 last year.
For those keeping score at home, that 192 such shows in one phase or the other compared to 130 last year. An increase of almost 48%!
As for the headline of this post, apparently having to shoot one of her shows in a lesser mansion than the year before, and not being allowed to have lots of international travel incorporated, is still good for Ms. Hilton’s brand. Read the full story for more info.