Networks Promise There's Enough Reality TV to Get Through Quarantine
HGTV, TLC, and Bravo have stockpiles of the good stuff.
If you've exhausted Netflix's seemingly endless stores of entertainment (and even gone back to watch something again), basic cable has good news: the reality TV that's become a staple of quarantining and work-from-home background noise isn't going anywhere. According to Variety, a slew of networks have stores and stores of material ready to go, promising that the pandemic's soundtrack will include the Real Housewives, cooking shows, and 90 Day Fiancé.
"Our networks are the comfort food of entertainment,” Kathleen Finch, chief lifestyle brands officer at Discovery, who oversees TLC, HGTV, Food Network, and Investigation Discovery, says. "And we see it in our ratings already. Food Network’s ratings have almost doubled; TLC's ratings are through the roof."
Dave Kaplan, senior vice president of strategic insights and research at Bravo, E!, and Oxygen, says that the network has its usual programming ready to go, including three of its Real Housewives franchises: New York City, which premieres on Thursday, as well as Beverly Hills and Potomac, which will air in the weeks to follow. While the shows are already shot, there is a minor hitch: the confessionals are filmed as the season progresses, so Bravo may come into some problems after a few weeks.
"It's not like Netflix where they do all the shows, and they’re ready to go — I mean, they’re doing the shows as they’re airing them,” RHOBH star Lisa Rinna told Variety. "I don’t know what that’s going to look like. When are we going to do our interviews?"
Finch says that since many Food Network shows are filmed in batches, she can run new episodes for a long time with what she's already got.
“Our schedule is set for quite a few months. I have enough Chopped episodes to go well into 2021!" Finch said. "A lot of what we do is produced in bulk — for Guy’s Grocery Games, we’ve got many, many months worth."