From Rags to Riches – The Reality Show Phenomenon

Whether it’s Duck Dynasty, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo or The Real Housewives franchise, reality television has taken a dent out of network TV’s ratings armor.

These particular programs run the household income gamut – from the southern, rural charm of the Robertsons from Louisiana selling duck calls, to the Thompsons that in the midst of entering Honey Boo Boo in multiple beauty contests enjoy the recreational pursuits of being a couch potato. But let’s not forget the luxurious Housewives of (enter your favorite city or county here) that overspend, out party and dramatize the smallest of events.

Either way, the public is hooked or repulsed and drawn in to view the weekly antics as they play out.

The ratings speak for themselves.

Duck Dynasty is the most watched docu drama on TV today, according to Nielsen ratings and the most watched program ever on A&E network. In April, A&E was ranked the #1 cable network among Adults 25-54 and increased their viewership by a whopping 38%*.

Honey Boo Boo is one of TLC cable network’s biggest shows with approximately 2.3 million viewers. Kicking off their new season soon will feature Mama June’s nuptials and likely increase their viewing numbers, too.*

The Real Housewives franchise began quietly enough in 2006 with Orange County and has grown to the current six cities across the U.S. It’s also included popular spin off shows, such as Bethenny’s Getting Married.

The current leader of the pack are the ladies of Atlanta, which garnered the #1 cable prime time slot for BRAVO recently as part of the season finale, attracting 3 million viewers. It’s also the cable network’s most watched program.

What once was considered a fad, reality TV looks like it’s here to stay. It provides a number of formats from game show, talent and competition and is a serious consideration for media buys within the appropriate designated demographic.

Who knew what was once considered a guilty pleasure is now appointment television.,0,831463.story

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