Is Reality TV On A Decline?

Is reality TV on the decline after its 20-year reign? The golden era of television has brought viewers to Real Housewives of Orange County, Mad Men, Homeland and a slew of other highly addicting programs. At the same time, television viewers were also provided with new and old reality shows that seemed tired and redundant.

According to Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy’s article in the Guardian, the Real Housewives of Orange County seemed to be a mix of Desperate Housewives and the teen hit The O.C. that first debuted in 2006. Television viewers gasped with delight at the star’s McMansions and marriages. The success of the series has led to the Real Housewives franchises in New York City, New Jersey, Atlanta, Beverly Hills, Miami and Washington D.C. including spawning a current total of nine spin-off series and international franchises in several countries around the world.

However, in spite of the success of Real Housewives, cracks have started to appear because the second installment of the franchise in New York City has attracted only 1.3million viewers which were just half of the previous season and a fraction of the earlier seasons. The problem it seems is due to viewers becoming familiar with the format but the reality stars themselves are aware of the constructs of their on-screen personas and their desire to turn their television appearances into other business ventures.

Take note that for every Bethenney Frankel-helmed Skinnygirl cocktail line, there is also a Gretchen Rossi cosmetics brand. But while Frankel was able to sell her Skinnygirl cocktail to a Fortune company for $100 million, Vicki’s Vodka, which was a Gunvalson venture aimed at trading on her fame, was expected to make a mint but instead become a source of litigation. With Gunvalson suing a former business partner for fraud, she has also been unable to unload her Coto de Caza home for $2.899million. This has stopped her from buying the Dana Point pad that she and Brooks Ayers have had their eyes on. Gunvalson is the only original cast member left on the pioneer Real Housewives of Orange County and she is supposedly the answer to Bethenney Frankel.