LUKE MARSDEN: How reality shows can enjoy a new lease of life

When something ends, usually, it’s finished; you don’t ever see it again.

By Luke Marsden
Friday, 15th April 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 10:54 am

In the case of reality TV shows, that appears not to be the case, in fact with TV shows in general they seem to go through a cycle of being popular for a while, then flopping, then being axed and eventually turned into a remake.Take Love Island for example. Many of Generation Z won’t actually know that we’ve seen the tiny bikinis and toned torsos before in the form of Abi Titmuss and Callum Best back in 2005.

After two years it flopped and was axed and rebooted a decade later with smaller bikinis and tighter abs. Love Island is now one of ITV’s most profitable assets.

The juggernaut of reality TV shows, the one that I obviously have the most affinity for, is Big Brother. In 2018 after being effectively euthanised by Channel 5, it was axed and the infamous bungalow bulldozed.But ITV is now in talks to reboot Big Brother next year!Like a parcel passed from one channel to another, the king of reality TV may about to have its biggest success yet.

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Love Island was given a second chance after its axing and emerged as one of ITV's strongest products

ITV has the capital, platforms and time to get this right. Big Brother’s reign on C4 was iconic: it left a legacy that is still talked about to this day and no reality show since would be anything without it.A new house would need to be constructed, a new host confirmed (bringing back Davina would be the wisest choice) and a million other details that make a show an enduring success.

C5 screwed up its chance to make itself relevant as a channel. Some of its highest ratings occurred during BB’s first two years on C5. I’m sorry, but Jane McDonald on a cruise ship doesn’t quite hit the spot.

If the rumours are true and ITV do want to wake a sleeping giant to return to our screens next autumn then I think this could be the shot in the arm that the reality TV landscape needs.

Fewer instagram models more normal people and only one show can do that well…