It's time for a reality-TV reality check. Even top executives and producers admit that the genre has become tired — an overload of singing battles, food challenges, screaming housewives and dating competitions. "We've been in a huge reality drought," says Greg Goldman, the new president of Studio Lambert USA, which produces Undercover Boss.
The broadcast networks continue to coast on the enduring success of veteran franchises like Survivor, but they're not minting many new hits. In cable, the success of docuseries like the Real Housewives franchise and Love & Hip Hop has led to a glut of such shows.
But a shake-up may finally be on the way. CBS recently named a new head of reality TV, Chris Castallo, while Fox is looking to fill the top job in its alternative department (which infamous reality kingpin Mike Darnell vacated at the end of July). There's also a new head of unscripted TV at AMC, while TruTV and A&E, both big reality networks, have new bosses.
TVGN is expanding their original programming with new unscripted shows debuting this fall that feature a mother-daughter duo managing kids in show business, a tequila entrepreneur and his four daughters, Wendy Williams and John Rich.
Mother of All Talent is an eight-episode docu-series that follows mother-daughter duo Nikki and Lorri, who have built one of the nation's leading talent agencies for kids in Staten Island, N.Y. Mother Nikki can be blunt and overbearing, while daughter Lorri always makes things right for the clients. And then there are the stage parents! Seth Jarrett (Boston's Finest) and Julie Insogna-Jarrett are executive producers...
"You're just not for everybody," comedic curmudgeon Marc Maron is told — by the more popular TV clown (at least among a comic-store backroom of Twitter nerds) Dave Foley, who plays a rather unflattering version of his real self, as does Maron, in IFC's new dark-side-of-laughter comedy series Maron (Friday, 10/9c). Sunnier than FX's Louie if only by virtue of being filmed in California, the sardonically squirm-inducing Maron alternates between slice-of-rant sitcom and self-obsessed podcast from the comedian's garage, where he vents on his unhappy personal life, his diarrhea-prone cats and his unruly, taunting Twitter following: "Who are these people? Don't they have lives?" You might well ask the same about Maron, although if he was happy (shades of Louie) there'd be no show.
American Horror Story: Asylum, The New Normal and Raising Hope were among the winners at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Saturday in Los Angeles.
CBS has renewed a whopping 14 of its shows for the 2013-2014 season, the network announced on Wednesday.
In addition to the previously renewed NCIS and CSI, the network will bring back dramas NCIS: LA, Elementary, Person of Interest, Hawaii Five-0, The Mentalist, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife .