Home Grown Reality TV?

Capital New York’s Alex Weprin writes about Jeff Zucker’s long range plans for Reality TV…

Anthony Bourdain started the push with “Parts Unknown,” and Morgan Spurlock followed with “Inside Man.” John Walsh, Lisa Ling and Mike Rowe are joining them this year.

“That was a pretty concerted effort to use some folks who were established and who had a following, they are easier to market, easier to generate some attention for,” CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker told Capital earlier this week.

The strategy made sense for CNN as it sought to launch its unscripted lineup. The channel needed buzz for the new formats, and it wanted to lure loyal fans that each of the “names” had.

Still, as any regular viewer of CNN’s new unscripted competitors like Discovery, A&E and Travel Channel know, the biggest hits often come from talent that is developed, not bought. To that end, CNN intends to try and develop talent of its own to complement its roster of known names.

“I think going forward we would like to create some of our own [talent], and that is something you will probably see us try over the next year or two,” Zucker told Capital.


3 Responses to “Home Grown Reality TV?”

  1. LOOK FOR:
    CNN LAKE HOUSE with Don, Frederika, and Wolfie.

  2. I can’t see many of the current crop of CNN hosts and reporters wanting to become reality TV stars.

    CNN and HLN are rapidly morphing into reality/documentary networks. MSNBC and FNC have become almost exclusively political opinion networks. AJAM, Fusion and the other micro ratings news nets continue to fragment the ever shrinking actual cable news viewership. And the mainstream networks, ABC,CBS,NBC, have moved into covering more and more entertainment, sports and human interest stories. The only holdout I see as a network covering actual traditional news, with passable ratings, is PBS – if only for an hour a day.

  3. However, the PBS NEWSHOUR has seen their ratings cut in half since 2005 and their budgets cut. A lot of talking heads these days debating contrary points of view. That said, I very rarely miss a broadcast including the new WEEKEND NEWSHOUR.

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