This week (July 24-30, 2011) saw a record amount of locally produced reality TV air on our free to air networks. So much so, many have suggested there is simply too much.
The Block, seen on Nine, now airs over 6 nights a week, and a total of four and a half hours this week, not including encore episodes. Masterchef Australia, which airs on Ten, also airs six nights a week, amounting to five hours per week of competition plus a further ninety minutes for Friday nights’ Masterclass.
On top of that. Ten opted to launch new reality competition show The Renovators during the final two weeks of Masterchef, airing after the cooking show. This week, it aired one hour per night, over five nights.
Then there is Top Design on Nine, which was extended to over ninety minutes this week, The Amazing Race Australia on Seven – a one hour offering, and Australia’s Got Talent – also on Seven – which aired for two hours this week for its second last episode of 2011.
Just these six shows alone amount to a total over 20 hours of reality competition spread over prime time every night except for Saturday*. Next week (July 31 – August 6) is set to be similar as Masterchef goes into finals week, and both Australia’s Got Talent and The Amazing Race Australia conclude for 2011 while The Renovators airs over five nights again, and The Block continues on Nine.
All amounts to an absolute smorgasbord for reality TV fans, but for those trying to keep up with all these shows, a big ask to sit through hours a night of reality. All this before you consider, that on Foxtel, there is Project Runway Australia airing on Monday nights, and Australia’s Next Top Model soon to launch its new season.
Add on all the overseas produced reality shows – both on free to air and Foxtel and it would appear reality competition formats are back in full swing. On ELEVEN you have The Biggest Loser US, and Britain’s Next Top Model while the US version of The Voice starts on GO! August 9. On Foxtel, there is Top Chef and Dating in the Dark US to name a few.
Past next week, and there is a reprieve of sorts as The Renovators on Ten fills the timeslots vacated by Masterchef, while The Block and Top Design continue on Nine.
Still to come this year is The X Factor and Beauty and the Geek, both on Seven while Ten has Junior Masterchef set to roll out its second season from September.
Given how well locally produced reality is rating, the situation is not likely to change any time soon. 2012 is shaping up to be another year dominated by reality with Masterchef, Australia’s Got Talent, The Amazing Race Australia and The Block all set to return for new seasons next year.
On top of those titles are The Biggest Loser Families to air on Ten from February, The Australian version of The Voice on Nine to launch next year, Masterchef season four on Ten and My Kitchen Rules season three on Seven. And of course, there is American Idol which will air on FOX8 from January.
Who said reality competition was dead? The format just seems to go from strength to strength – seems we just can’t get enough of it.