A University of Northern Iowa professor says the new year could see t-v reality shows run their course. Chris Martin says the reality shows have seen steep declines in viewership. He says it looks like we’re on the backside of the reality t-v genre. He says there’ve been some hits like “Survivor”, but he says there are more misses than hits, and that’s what make programmers look at other things. Martion, an associate professor of communications studies at U-N-I, says a new non-reality show could be a signal of things to come. He says one of the shows that’s done better, and is one of the top shows is “Desperate Housewives,” a fictional show. He says it could be the beginnings of the return to fiction. Martin says the reality shows caught on because they at first were drawing ratings, and didn’t cost as much to make. He says an hour-long dramatic program without an big stars can cost one-point-five million dollars an episode, while reality shows can cost much less. But, he says some of the reality shows have cost more as they’ve gotten more extravgent and brought in big stars. Martin says competition drives networks to take copy each other when it comes to finding a popular show. He says the number of channels has made programming for t-v much more difficult. He says the number of cable stations makes them a collective competition for the over-the-air networks when it comes to programming. Martin says reality t-v has another drawback in that those shows don’t tent to bring a lot of money in syndicated re-runs. He says once you’ve seen Big Brother or Survivor, then you don’t want to sit down and see it again a few years later, but you would want to see Seinfeld and other sitcoms again. He says there’s big money in syndication, and that’s were reality shows don’t fare well. Martin expects programmers to look to copycat the success of Desperate Housewives with more fictional shows.
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