Facing Reality

As networks turn to unscripted series, maybe it's time we embrace the genre

January 22, 2008|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic

Here we go again. Another wave of reality TV has started to wash across the prime-time landscape. And while the controversial genre has been on the rise for the past seven years, network programmers appear to have found a few new ways to shock - a sensation viewers seem to love despite all the public griping.

NBC's American Gladiators, a trash-camp orgy of muscle-bound combat, returned to the airwaves Jan. 6 with 12 million viewers and a lot of morning-after chatter. Last week, the most successful series in TV history, American Idol, rebooted for a new season with an opening night cast of cringe-ably bad performers and an audience of 33.2 million.

On TV The Millionaire Matchmaker premieres at 11 tonight on Bravo. The Moment of Truth premieres at 9 p.m. tomorrow on WBFF (Channel 45). Gone Country premieres at 8 p.m. Friday on CMT.

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