Why do TV stations like reality shows? The Simple answer is because they are far more profitable when compared to the traditional format TV shows. Reality TV shows require no writers or actors and are often shot at a single location which means lower costs.
How do the costs compare? An episode of BBC’s hospital drama Casualty costs about £500,000 to produce, and BBC budgets at least £900,000 per episode for its top range dramas. An hour of Big Brother on the other hand can cost about £100,000 to produce. Reality TVs which are celebrity driven will cost a bit extra but still a lot less than scripted dramas.
More tellingly unlike other low-budget programmes Reality TV shows often deliver enviable audience figures. So it comes as no surprise that ITV’s schedule across the broadcasters network is stuffed full of reality TV formats of all flavours from “I Am a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here”, “Hell’s Kitchen”, “Dancing on Ice”, “The X-Factor” to the “The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE)”.
You would think that by now ITV have exhausted every possible reality format possible, but you would be thinking wrong. Their latest offering takes a very photogenic, relatively successful Olympic ‘Hero’, adds a bunch of personalities with varying degrees of celebrity, and throws them into a set of task challenging enough to humiliate and embarrass and but not serious enough to injure and voila! you have Splash the new reality TV show from ITV.
The show is is a vehicle to take advantage of the popularity of Bronze medal winning Olympic diver Tom Daley and involves a bunch of celebrities learning how to dive.
Try as I may I just can’t see how this would be interesting. As an Olympic sport diving is mildly engaging, but as the premise of a reality show? We will obviously get the occasional Peter Kay style “running bomb” and some of the fitter celebs in nice looking swimwear but beyond that? We’ll have to see, reality shows have a funny way of defying convention.
‘Celebrities’ that have been lined up so far are reality TV veterans like TOWIE star Joey Essex ,Shameless’ Tina Malone and comedian Dom Joly.
Alongside them are newbies like Hollyoaks actress Jennifer Metcalfe, Sugababes singer Jade Ewen,Comedians Helen Lederer and Omid Djalili, Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo, Benidorm’s Jake Canuso , TV host Jenni Falconer, Sky Sports News presenter Charlotte Jackson, gardener Diarmuid Gavin, Changing Rooms star Linda Barker and ski jumper Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edward.
The show is to be hosted by Vernon Kay and Gabby Logan and starts this Saturday.
- splash! jade ewen tom daley joey essex (thesun.co.uk)
- ITV…Tom Daley’s ‘Splash’ was like an awkward belly flop (didyouwatchit.com)