Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Viewers Watching More Reality TV As Escapism

Some say robust reality ratings for shows like DANCING WITH THE STARS and AMERICAN IDOL reflect the sour economy. "People in a recession era are looking to TV to provide some escapism," says Victoria Dummer, co-head of ABC's unscripted programming. She says THE BACHELOR provides familiar "comfort food" that's "a more easily digestible meal" than some scripted series.

"Dramas are so downbeat and crime-focused that while they offer escapism of a different sort, it's rarely, if ever, uplifting," says John Rash of Minneapolis ad firm Campbell Mithun.

It's hard to argue with this statement and it applies to the daytime soaps as well. There are too many dark and depressing stories which are not offset by enough fun and light-hearted turns. Escapism doesn't have to always mean dead babies, murder, unhappy people and miserable, torn apart couples. A little humor, adventure and happy times goes a long way.

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