The cable landscape is increasingly filled with reality shows, with Jersey Shore setting ratings records and entire programs dedicated to the behavior of categories such as housewives, pawn shops and teen moms. In addition, new shows have been announced for reality veterans Paris Hilton, Lauren Conrad and “Pauly D” Delvecchio.
With outrageous personalities and salacious situations, some of cable TV’s most popular reality shows rely on a set of characteristics that stand apart from most of their cable brethren – a sub-genre that might be called “Fist Pump TV.”
Using Program Pulse Cable we looked at some recently aired reality shows: Jersey Shore, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Real Housewives of New Jersey and Bad Girls Club. Each of the four shows share common characteristics when compared to Cable TV average scores. These programs produced success following a combination of above average Funny, Sexy, and Predictable scores and low Intelligent and Informative scores.
In addition, the celebrities featured in these shows also share some less than admirable E-Scores. Jersey Shore’s Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi each brandish E-Scores below 10, while Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ sisters Khloe and Kim both sport below average E-Scores.
In contrast, scripted programs like the new $#*! My Dad Says starring William Shatner, whose E-Score is 96, and Blue Bloods with Tom Selleck (E-Score of 98) have gotten off to good starts in the current TV season at least partly based on the strength of their highly marketable stars. Relying as they do on being funny, sexy and entertaining, the Fist Pump TV reality group can succeed despite lacking highly appealing stars.
Shows that follow the “celeb-reality” path may not require celebrities with high E-Scores and may even be assisted by stars with low E-Scores that might create more curiosity for sampling. So while Paris Hilton’s E-Score registers an abysmal 5, there may still be a path to success for her new show by dialing up the sex and humor, and avoiding informative or challenging situations.
Program Pulse Cable has the ability to look beyond ratings into viewer motivations and measure which attributes viewers associate with a show. Program Pulse also combines with E-Score Celebrity to determine connections between program and star.