Reality Programming Takes Over TV

An article on Newport Business News reveals that hit reality series “Mob Wives,” produced by Ben Silverman, will return for a second season. The show profiles four women whose husbands or fathers have faced some kind of incarceration for mob-related activities, whether it be drug dealing or bank robberies to actually heading up major crime families. VH1 also renewed the reality show “Love and Hip Hop,” which tells the story of four women who, through either their husbands or their careers, are connected to the hip-hop world.

Reality programming blew up on the TV scene in the late 90s when shows like “Survivor” and “Big Brother” became popular. Since then, some networks have almost dedicated their entire line-ups to reality shows. MTV’s “Jersey Shore” and “16 and Pregnant” have brought controversy, but also big ratings for the network. Bravo has also boasted hit reality programming, like “Top Chef” and “Project Runway,” both of which have been nominated for Emmys.

To respond to reality TV’s growing popularity, the Emmy Awards added a category for Outstanding Reality Program in 2001 (Fox’s “American High” won the award). In 2003, the awards show added a category to differentiate between informational and competition reality programs titled Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. The Emmy Awards also added a category for best host in 2008. “Survivor’s” Jeff Probst has won the award for best host all three years in a row.