Network Television – Reality Programming – Giving Us Less For More

Tonight I’m going to rant a little about reality shows: What effect will they have on future Pop Culture icons? Is network television giving less for more?? Does Chef Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen always have risotto on the menu???

With today’s current trend towards more reality programming I am beginning to feel that I’m getting less bang for my cable/dish buck. Television has found a way to give us free TV – only it’s free to them, not us! Think about this for a minute:

First, no star salaries! Let’s face it – the hosts can’t cost that much and the prizes given are a tiny percentage of normal show salaries


Second, there’s little or no special effects costs – I mean, come on, they rent a house/boat/island and shove some regular joes in/on it, grab a couple of camera men and Bam! Zap! Pow! a new TV show!

Third, now they even make God knows how much money from all the text messages they ask you to send in at only(?) 99 cents each – plus applicable standard text messaging costs. I was sitting here this afternoon taking a break from my honest work (get the inference there?) watching Hell’s Kitchen and saw the $10,000 contest for who was getting kicked off next. This was a text message entry with the 99 cent cost – don’t forget the “plus applicable….blah, blah, blah. Yeah, you can go to the website too….but we all know how basically lazy us American couch potatoes are! Anyhoo, my over-active brain started to crunch some numbers on just how many viewers would text in to win the contest at a buck an entry. If they have say 5 million viewers and only one percent of them enter that’s $49,500 in text fees received – just about 5 times the amount of the prize!!! Pretty, darn clever of them, doncha think??? And I’ll bet those call in numbers are just a tad higher than 50,000 viewers, not even counting the people who vote more than once if allowed!

And I don’t even want to get into ad revenues, branding ploys via product placement and all the merchandising products inspired by TV or movies we end up spending money on too!

Someone’s making a mint instead of making real television!!!! I yearn for the days when television was NOT reality – when Father Knew Best, We all Loved Lucy and an hour show was a Bonanza of almost 55 minutes of program – instead of the stingy 40 or so minutes they call an hour now. My God, even your shrink gives you 50 minutes for an hour!!!! We’re getting cheated, America, and we’re paying $50 – $100 bucks a month for the “privilege”! We really are witnessing the dumbing down of America – and it’s not only television that is profiting from our slide back towards the antidiluvial muds……………..

Now, that being said, excuse me – I TIVO’d “Pirate Master” and I’m really hoping the new Captain has lost his phony English Accent in the drink`……………….

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