The Hollywood Reporter Unveils 2013 Reality Heat List
This story first appeared in the April 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Twelve years after it premiered on CBS, Survivor still attracts more than 10 million viewers, and the network's 11-year-old Emmy-hogging phenom The Amazing Race regularly hits the same milestone.
And while its ratings are losing ground to NBC competitor The Voice, Fox's 11-year-old Idol still is a key performer for the network (this season has hit highs of 15 million fans). ABC, meanwhile, is celebrating the huge resurgence of its Bachelor franchise after nearly 10 million tuned in to watch celibate single guy Sean Lowe find love.
So what can the nets learn from their stalwarts?
Survivor producer Mark Burnett -- whose recent CBS experiment The Job, which pitted dream-job aspirants against one another, was canceled after two episodes -- says their longevity proves there's no substitute for reality's most enduring and lucrative formats.
"These are family-friendly shows," he explains. "There is a much bigger audience for this programming than for the opposite."