Steve Sternberg, senior vice president for media-services firm MAGNA Global
USA, sees the reality bubble "contracting rather than bursting," as viewers tire
of "the inevitable clones and lower-brow entries." MAGNA is the negotiating arm
of ad-agency giant The Interpublic Group of Cos. and its $40 billion in billings.
Although these shows have attracted younger viewers and enable short-term
schedule fixes, he said, programmers realize that there's a financial drawback
in such shows, which have "no back-end or secondary market." Moreover, there can
be content concerns for some advertisers, he pointed out.
Broadcasters realize, he added, that "long-term success and brand-building
requires scripted series."