Reality TV By The Numbers [Infographic]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:32 am,

reality tv by the numbers Reality TV By The Numbers [Infographic]

Going back to 2000, reality television was but a mere programming indulgence used to somehow represent elements from modern society through the use of “real” people.

Jumping ahead more than a decade, it’s hard to look at any network and not see some form of reality television represented. From the self-obsessed, to the talented, to the competitive, to the, well, “odd”  – reality television  has become must-see- TV to many viewers (even for those that choose not to admit it). With its stars being as championed as much as some of television’s best, it’s clear that reality television is much more than a passing fad.

Take a look at this infographic (below) to see just how popular reality television has become, and exactly how much influence it has on society.

reality tv stats 570x468 Reality TV By The Numbers [Infographic]

via Dish

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  1. If only we could get people to stop watching this drivel so we could get quality television back again. SHows that entertain by making you think, feel or really get into. I am sorry I just don’t care about the people in these shows. BTW, I view shows like American Idol, Wipeout, etc. as more of game shows than reality shows, so I am not including them even though I don’t really watch them consistently. Well … maybe Wipeout I do. :)

  2. I agree. Reality tv shows are just being churned out nowadays and they’re all crap. It’s just easier than writing quality scripts. The majority of tv is unwatchable to me now.

  3. Is that salary by the year or over the course of the program?

    • By season (usually per year)

  4. I don’t watch any of those shows and the ones I’ve caught (i.e. Biggest Loser) I’ve never watched an entire episode!

    Yeah, after a long day’s work at the office I want to kick back and watch more “reality”…

    Whatever happened to getting lost in TV to get away from reality?

  5. I don’t get this fascination with these shows. I’d rather watch old re-runs of Lost in Space than watch this stuff. Can someone please tell me what is so great about reality shows?

    • Without reality shows, The Soup wouldn’t exist. In fact, the whole E! network wouldn’t. Wait…a world without the E! network is a world that I’d want to live in.

  6. the only “reality” show i follow is survivor

  7. “That is one big pile of crap.”

  8. I remember watching the 1st season of The Real World in high school and I admit that it was interesting then. But when I watched a few minutes of one of the newer seasons, I think they were in Cancun I see that now all it’s about is hooking up and drinking.
    I still watch Survivor but like INK said above I see that and the singing or dancing shows as game shows.

  9. At least the quality of reality TV is inversely proportional to the quality of scripted TV. Yeah, there’s Jersey Shore, Big Brother, and The Real Housewives of [Enter City Here] – but there’s also Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Community, etc. I watch a vulgar amount of TV every week and none of it is reality TV. There’s quality content on TV, you just have to look for it.

  10. I don’t indulge very often in mockery and unkind thoughts/laughter. Suffice to say, I don’t watch reality TV. I don’t think it possible to watch most of those offerings without accruing unsavory by-products such as skepticism, cynicism, and moral and ethical retardation.

  11. The only one that i watch (currently) is Face-Off ,other that it’s the Big Bang Theory, Bones, Fringe ,Alcatraz, and The Walking Dead

  12. In the entertainment media world there are a numbers of reality shows which are liable to increase their TRP rates through channeling telecast, most of peoples are also getting addicted towards these acts of watching reality shows and now it becomes one of the most haunt for viewers.

  13. As much as I hate and even despise Reality TV I am thankful for it. Why? In the current economy its difficult, very difficult to get networks (either the majors or one of the cable based ones) to fork over money for a non-reality based series. They will gladly try out any reality based series but only because they are more often than not dirt cheap to produce and therefore dirt cheap to purchase and broadcast. While doing so means there is much less quality viewing on TV per day, by loading up their schedules with this cheap crap they are then able to afford a handful of quality content, things like THE WALKING DEAD, SPARTACUS and especially higher end (cost wise) material like GAME OF THRONES.

    As much as we all hate the crap that is called Reality based TV, it is the cheap cost of that garbage that enables us to also get a few hours of the good stuff like GAME OF THRONES. Just imagine what our choices would be right now for TV content if Reality Based series had never come to be or at least had not taken off as they have. Instead of a mix of crap/quality of around 8/2 we’d have a lot of middle of the road junk that would often border on being unwatchable but never truly bad. Between those choices I’ll take the 8 hours of junk reality based programming to get my 2 hours of the good stuff.

    • I believe you have misinformation. Two of the shows you mentioned (Game of Thrones and Spartacus) come from premium cable networks, which basically means that their income is high enough that they don’t need commercial advertising. These type of networks don’t usually carry reality television programming (minus Showtime’s Big Brother After Dark). However, they do offer variety television shows (Mr. Show), sports (Inside the NFL), and talk shows (Chris Rock Show, Real Time). As for the Walking Dead, AMC hasn’t had a reality television show, however I’ve heard that is about to change. Other cable networks with good scripted writing are following suit and about to start launching more reality television. Basically, up until now, there was some reality television on the four major networks and a few niche cable networks (MTV, VH1, Bravo, E!, etc.) that thrived on reality programming. But as this chart shows us, reality television is continually expanding and networks known for their scripted television will eventually take a turn in the reality TV game. Slowly they will realize that even with half the viewers, they’re making money and if they can throw in some not-so-subtle advertising, they can make more money. “Who cares what the viewers want? We’re making money.” will become their network’s slogan while shows like Mad Men, Burn Notice, White Collar, and more get cancelled so a cat lover can find love, but the twist is her potential bachelors are all dog lovers. We’ll call it Puppy Love. While your theory is a way of rationalizing reality television’s effect on viewers, in all honesty, the exact opposite is happening. And if reality television remains unchecked…scripted television as we know will cease to exist. For that reason, please do not be thankful for reality programming, it will someday be the demise of scripted television.

      • @B-List Pornstar Extra

        While correct in that the 2 examples I gave are from the Premiere networks and not one of the 4 majors I used those as examples because I know that most if not all the regulars at ScreenRant would agree that these are of the level of quality I was trying to give an example of. But I can stick with just the major networks if that is what’s needed.

        FOX: FRINGE
        ABC: LOST (yes this is no longer running but it’s a great example of a not-cheap-to-produce series )
        NBC: Sadly enough I could not find anything wort listing for NBC. They are mostly sitcoms and talk shows.
        CBS: CSI

        As for outside the major 4 networks there is a lot and I mean a LOT of reality TV material ranging from tolerable to unbelievably juvenile. My brother-in-law is staying with us right now and he loves the reality TV junk. Only recently since he came to live with us did I realize just how much reality TV crap was on the air waves. I caught a few minutes of MY BIG REDNECK VACATION the other day when I came home from work and almost fell down in disbelief at what I was seeing. Its like as if the majority of the viewing public is split between exhibitionists (those who like to make themselves look stupid on TV for 15 minutes of fame) and voyeurs.

        I don’t doubt you one bit when you say that Reality Tv will open day mark the end of quality programming. Where we disagree is that I believe the end of that quality material would come much sooner if it weren’t for the cheaper cost alternative that reality TV series offer a network. Not all network execs are excited to see the quality programming leave the airwaves. But all do appreciate the fact that reality TV content enables them to pad their programming for cheap.

  14. I just did a blog post and I listed approximately 75 reality shows. I ruled out the game show and contest shows, but the reality (no pun intended) is there are way too many shows and more to come! In my opinion, I think it is contributing to the product of a lazy society, because life is easy on tv with no work required. Also, I think most viewers feel inadequate for not having a lavish lifestyle and designer everything. I truly miss comedies, not reality comedy!

  15. Thanks for the article on reality TV! I really liked it!

  16. Looks like a nice info graphic. Too bad you can’t read it. Otherwise it may have been a valuable SEO tool.

  17. This run of the most horrible poo to come out in many, many years. In all honesty in all my 38 years I have NEVER seen such trash, made for trash to watch, about trash. Anyone foolish or dumb enough to “Believe the shows are real Reality” are morons and need to go to school and learn or read a book.

    How anyone can honestly think these so called “Reality Shows” are anything but scripted trash needs real help. It makes me sick & sad that shows like the White Trash Pig hour called “Pig Boo Boo” or whatever its called is just sick. How networks can churn out this tripe is beyond me.

    It just seems that every day I am seeing more and more horrible trash being released. It seems some networks which used to make good programs are also hopping on the “Churn out cheap Reality Shows” I can see the trash networks doing this, but now seeing History, I.D., History 2, Nat. Geo, and a few others. Alas, it seems these networks are also starting to hop on the so called “Easy Way Out” by making and financing this scripted trash.

    How anyone in this day & age can believe anything they are watching on these shows as “REAL” are morons and need to get out and live in REALITY rather then watching TV make up some show and slap a reality sticker on it. How anyone can not know these shows are scripted, edited, and put together in such a way as to make two totally different topics appear as if its one is called editing.

    Case in point, take any so called “Reality Show” out now, take any of the so called “Real People” (Actors who failed in all other forms of acting)then the camera crew will record upwards of 600+ hours of tape, then lets say “Actor Joe Blow” and “Actress Jane Blow” are both talking to someone they know from home, and they start to fight/argue with someone from home.

    Then along comes the editors, who take the two totally UNRELATED conversations and splice them into one single point of “Interest” for the morons watching at home. This is how “Reality shows” are made. Look it up, I mean I looked into this after coming across a news article online, and a few of the producers of this Poo said outright this is what is done to make “Reality Shows”

    So, to all the fools & morons who think the shows they watch are “Real Life” do something for me, take a few cameras, film yourself, your friends and family watching TV, eating, doing a lot of nothing, and then put all the footage on a single video and watch it. That is REAL not the tripe being produced as “Reality TV”

    One more thing, the same Producers also made sure to mention how CHEAP & EASY it is to make these trash shows.. Thus while many sad and dull “Americans” are at home shoving food down their throats and watching some “Scripted Reality” are only adding and helping to make sure this trend of horrible shows will continue to be made until people WAKE UP and demand, stop watching, and refuse to watch this trash in hopes of seeing something WORTH watching… Sadly, being I live in America, I feel this is nothing more then Wishful thinking….. Sigh…..

  18. How can you call this site “Screen Rant” when you censor peoples “Rants?”