Can't they make single-season reality shows anymore?

To me, recurring reality shows get boring and predictable. I thought “Playing it Straight” and “My Big Fat Obnoxious Boyfriend” were bad but now I look to them as classics compared all those seasonal shows. Is that concept not financially viable?

If you make a show and it sells advertising, why wouldn’t you keep trying to make it again, at least until the money dries up? If you invented a successful product, wouldn’t you want to keep selling it as long as you could, rather than giving up and trying to invent something new?

This doesn’t make reality T.V. any more palatable, but if they’re making money, someone must be watching, and if they weren’t making money, they wouldn’t be making multiple seasons.

That was the thought in my mind, but I would prefer a new concept each time, a bit like a movie. Audience involvement would be longer, not just the hiatus between seasons. For instance, the media covered Jackie and Banks during the two years they kept dating after Banks won.

No they go on and on and on and get worse and worse and worse and there’s new ones that spring up every day!! It’s gotten to the point where they are making reality shows about reality shows just to make a new show lol. I find reality TV rather annoying and depressing. I enjoy TV land and all the old sitcoms. I miss those days, when humor was witty and sarcastic and you had to have some level of intelligence to figure out why it was funny. It seems like getting drunk, getting into a fight and falling down in the street with your panties (or lack of) showing is what people find funny these days. As a social worker/therapist, all I wanna do is say “You really need a mental health intervention, not a paid TV gig” lol

Because a single season reality show isn’t a reality show, it’s a documentary mini-series.

Reality shows are the epitome of quantity over quality, of flash over substance. They literally cost a tiny fraction of what a real show does, so all the networks make dozens of new ones constantly because all it takes is for one of them to be a modest hit and you’ve got a license to print money. For a couple seasons at least. Plus reality shows generally do like two or three ‘seasons’ a year!

I’m not familiar with either mentioned show but were they really single season shows (intended that way) or just shows that didn’t get picked up for more?

I think the issue with some of the shows the OP mentioned is that once word gets out about their gimmicks, you can’t really use them again, especially if the show becomes a hit.

The classic example of this is Joe Millionaire. IIRC, they did try doing a second season set in Europe, where no one had presumably heard of show, but it ended up flopping.

Because that’s not the American TV model. The American TV model is to keep pumping out seasons until the show whimpers its way to a halting stop as viewership dwindles out of boredom. But as long as money is being made, keep it rolling!

Some creative teams actually fight that paradigm and quit while they’re still on top, but not many.

Syndication concerns also keep some shows going long after they’re no longer fresh, but that’s not really something reality shows tend to worry about, since syndication of reality show reruns is fairly rare (unless I’m missing something).

I think reality shows (most of which are only “kind of” reality) have replaced soap operas. Many people’s lives are downright “simple” (I did not say “boring”), so seeing a lot of “drama” in seemingly “real” lives is entertaining. In the 60’s - say 90’s, soap operas provided this “view of other, more interesting people’s lives”. Now it is all these reality shows.

So long as there are people who are entertained, captivated by other people’s drama, there will be a market for these shows. (sad to say)

My wife liked the commercials and we ended up watching Joe Millionaire 2 (which actually aired after the batshit crazy Skin**) and Joe turned out to be the most honest, unscrupulous, non-fame whore in the history of reality TV. It was actually really sweet.