Monday, January 31, 2011

And the last nose job goes to...

Very interesting interview and take on the role of reality TV programming thriving on American TV networks right now.

Adele Melander-Dayton interviews Jennifer Pozner for Salon.com

I'm glad that you said that nothing new really happens, because it's true. When they first introduced the plastic surgery shows, it was to amp up the shock level. If your business model is "Oh my God, what the hell is wrong with these people," and trying to elicit that response in an audience, then you keep having to layer on shock value. We're often told these shows are extremely popular when very often they're not. What we're told by networks and reality producers is that this genre exists simply because we the public demand it. That is very often a lie. It's a very convenient lie to mask media economics. It can cost 50-75 percent less to make a reality show than to make a scripted show. That's massively lower production costs before you add on hundreds of thousands, potentially millions of dollars in product placements per show per season. They don't even have to sell a single commercial before they're already profiting. If it gets good ratings, that's a bonus for them. In every episode of "Bridalplasty," there were "wedding experts" from the wedding field, designers who make dresses, and floral architects -- when did we come up with the term "floral architect" -- it's a simple economic equation that brings up this type of programming.

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