Reality Show Budgets Get Slashed


Reality shows are poised for a face-lift now that producers are having their budgets drastically reduced. Companies are looking at in-studio reality programming (“Deal Or No Deal,” “Moment of Truth”) as the wave of the future because it lowers costs and is relatively short to edit. Shows that take a few days to shoot, but weeks to edit (“I Love New York,” “Flavor of Love”) are putting a strain on the production studio’s turn around of product. The
most revealing part of the piece though, is the producer’s deteriorating scale of “factors” when it comes to what they put on TV. They look at the consumer like “Mikey,” he’ll eat anything you feed him.

“Every year there’s more and more budgetary pressure,” said Mark Cronin, producer of such VH1 hits as “Rock of Love” and “I Love New York.” “Every network is having its budgetary problems, and that’s being pushed back toward all content. So there’s a constant pressure to produce more for less…Audiences seem to be very forgiving of what we used to think of as unspeakably low production values,” Cronin said.

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