The Reality of Reality TV

According to Nielsen, more than 50% of the prime-time television audience is tuned into a reality TV show. There are many industry fans of this, producers for example, like it because a reality TV show usually costs about half of a narrative show to make. Costs for talent-less actors, writers, directors are for less substantial than start talent.

From: Negotiations in the Entertainment Industry

By: Marjorie DeHey, JD/MBA

For over 15 years, Ms. DeHey has held high-level positions in marketing, business development and corporate strategy for a number of small and large companies, including MGM Studios, the Miss Universe organization, MEF (formerly the Mobile Entertainment Forum), MediaMojos, the Irish government, and LexisNexis.

Ms. DeHey has been named one of “The 25 Women to Watch” by Mobile Marketer Magazine (…) and was recently inducted in the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

In the CLE class clip, Ms. DeHey discusses The Reality of Reality TV.

The pay for professional talent and lesser-known, reality TV “star” is a world apart. For example NeNe Leaks gets a whopping $1.5 million per season. A lesser know, reality TV “star” can only expect to earn about $5,000 a month. The Kardashian clan are the top earners though, the gang raked in a cool $40 million dollar E! Deal in 2012.

For the rest of the staff, a reality show “story teller” makes between $1200 and $3500 a week. A writer on a half-hour prime-time network show covered by the guild, gets a minimum base pay of $3,376 a week, plus big perks if first drafts are used. Writers whose story and teleplay are actually used in production pulls in a minimum of $19,603 per week.

Not everyone in the industry thinks this is a safe bet. AMC recently got rid of its unscripted division in favor of scripted shows.

For more on The Reality of Reality TV, by Ms. DeHey, check out the full CLE video clip by