Check Out Our New Look

Reality Check: Mark Burnett On ‘Survivor’, ‘American Idol’, ‘Shark Tank’ & Anchoring Values

By | Monday June 9, 2014 @ 1:43pm PDT

Reality Check is a Deadline feature series covering the players, programs and trends in reality television.

Since Survivor firstmarkburnett1 debuted on CBS in the summer of 2000, Mark Burnett has been and remains one of the leading impresarios of the Reality TV genre that he in many ways created Stateside. Sure Burnett’s had flame-outs like the short lived Stars Earn Stripes, but he’s also currently holding a deck that includes the still strong Survivor 28 seasons in and growing NBC’s The Voice and ABC’s entrepreneurial series Shark Tank. In a genre where longevity and legacy are still being created, Burnett reflects on the state and shifting fortunes of Reality TV, why American Idol has stumbled and how he literally anchors his shows to success.

DEADLINE: Let’s cut to the chase, Mark. What’s the state of unscripted TV in 2014?
MARK BURNETT: The state of unscripted TV is very good, as long as it’s good. That’s the only thing you have to worry about. I always try to think that if you’re given an hour or two of primetime American network TV, you better treat that as if someone’s just given you a $100 million movie to run. No difference, and there’s no free pass. If it’s great, and if it has an emotional connection, for whatever reason, to the viewers, it stays. Particularly, for me, I’m very, very fortunate that The Voice, and Survivor, and Shark Tank all have a clear emotional connection through the TV screen into peoples’ homes. Read More »

Comments (3)

RATINGS RAT RACE: Barbara Walters Tribute Tops Night With 9.30M Viewers, ‘Shark Tank’, ‘Kitchen Nightmares’, ‘Grimm’ & ‘Hart Of Dixie’ Finales Down, ‘Hannibal’ Rises

MIKE TYSON, ROBIN GIVENS, BARBARA WALTERSAn era has passed, but as Sundays will always be the natural spot for awards shows, Fridays should never refuse a Barbara Walters special. And that’s what ABC rolled out last night with a full court press retrospective via the 2-hour Barbara Walters: Her Story (1.6/7) special. Coming the same day as Walters’ last stint as on-air den mother on The View, as my colleague Lisa de Moraes likes to say, the look back at her career over the decades saw the TV pioneer interviewing Presidents, the famous, the infamous and the too trainwrecky to look away. And a lot of people were looking on Friday. Even with last week’s 20/20, and down a scant 5% from Walters’ quickly pulled together showstopper of an interview with Donald Sterling’s confidante V. Stiviano on May 2, last night’s special was tied with lead-in  Shark Tank (1.6/7) for the far away highest-rated show of the night and pulled in 9.30 million viewers to make it the most watched show of the night by a landslide. Needless to say, ABC cleaned up the night with a 1.6/6 among Adults 18-49 overall and 8.380 million total viewers.

Related: Highlights From Barbara Walters’ Last Day As On-Air Den Mom On ‘The View’: Video
Read More »

Comments (7)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Blue Bloods’ Finale Up, ‘Shark Tank’ & ‘Hannibal’ Down, ‘Hart Of Dixie’ Rises

By | Saturday May 10, 2014 @ 9:58am PDT

BLUE BLOODS SEASON 4 FINALEThe third Friday of this year’s May Sweep brought no shortage of finales on CBS. In fact the most watched network of the night (9.29 million) was nothing but finales as Unforgettable (0.8/4), Hawaii Five-0 (1.3/4) and Blue Bloods (1.4/5) all wrapped up their latest seasons. The big winner was the Season 4 end of the Tom Selleck-led NYPD family show. While down a tenth from last week’s show, Blue Bloods was up a Big Apple strong 17% from its Season 3 finale on May 10 last year. The third highest rated show of the night, the 10 PM airing BB was as usual in the top spot when it came to viewership with 11.50 million tuning in – that’s actually a 12% rise from the audience the show got for its Season 3 ender. Read More »

Comments (6)

ABC Renews ‘Shark Tank’, ‘The Bachelor’ & ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’

By | Friday May 9, 2014 @ 11:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

MARK CUBAN, BARBARA CORCORAN, KEVIN O’LEARY, LORI GREINER, ROBERT HERJAVECMore unscripted renewals at ABC. Getting a sixth-season pickup is MVP Shark Tank, which has been driving ABC’s demo ratings dominance on Friday and which has stepped in to fill any hole the network might have open with its well-performing repeats. Sony TV is producing. The Bachelor, from Warner Horizon, has been picked up for a 19th cycle after a controversial but well-rated season with bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis. And the oldest of them all, America’s Funniest Home Videos, has been renewed for a 25th (!), which longtime host Tom Bergeron said would be his last.

Comments (3)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Shark Tank’ Ties High, ‘Hart Of Dixie’ Ties Low, ‘Unforgettable’ & ’20/20′ Up, ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ Down

By | Saturday May 3, 2014 @ 9:53am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

140424_2020_shark_promo_16x9_992There was a lot of up-and-down movement last night. ABC was the biggest gainer, winning with an average of 1.8 rating in adults 18-49, a Friday season high and the network’s best result on the night in year-and-a-half, since Nov. 9, 2012. Opening things at 8 PM was the special Shark Tank: Swimming With Sharks (1.5), matching ABC’s season high for the time slot. It boosted Shark Tank (2.2), which was up 22% from last week to tie a season high. The gains carried over to 10 PM’s 20/20 (1.7, up 21%, 7 million viewers). It featured Barbara Walters’ headline-making interview with Donald Sterling’s confidante V. Staviano though the sit-down came together so last minute that ABC had no time to promote it for bigger ratings. It is getting a major online play.

Related: One Last Get: Barbara Walters Lands V. Stiviano Interview

Look who is getting in the renewal consideration game: CBS’ Unforgettable (1.1) shot up 22% from last week. Given its trimmed budget and half CBS ownership, if it can maintain these levels, a summer/midseason run is not as out of the question as it seemed. Hawaii Five-0 ( 1.2) did only marginally better, down a tenth from last week. Read More »

Comments (14)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Last Man Standing’ Finale Down; ‘Kitchen Nightmares’, ‘Grimm’ & ‘Hannibal’ Rise; ABC Wins Demo

By | Saturday April 26, 2014 @ 9:52am PDT

JORDAN MASTERSON, TIM ALLENIt was almost a full house network-wise on Friday with a finale here, a real heating-up there and a high. The season finale was over on ABC, where Last Man Standing (1.3/5) wrapped up its third cycle. While bopping up 8% from last week’s show, the yet-to-be-renewed Tim Allen comedy was down 19% among adults 18-49 from its Season 2 ender on March 22, 2013. Garnering a 1.6/6 rating and 7.85 million in its 8 PM slot, the half-hour show’s finale was also up against Night 2 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament last year. Last night’s LMS finale pulled in 5.85 million viewers. And what a difference a month can make: TV usage levels were 13% higher on March 22 last year than they were last night.

Related: PILOTS 2014: The Latest Buzz

ABC’s only other original of the night, Shark Tank (1.7/6), was the highest-rated show of the night and even with its April 18 result. Being that the entrepreneurial reality series tends to see a rise of a tenth at least in the final numbers, expect this morning’s preliminary result to be adjusted. With that in mind and as the only network not to be putting out a full schedule of originals last night, ABC won primetime among the key demo for the fourth Friday in a row. The network had a 1.4/5 rating, with CBS coming in second with a 1.2/4. CBS won the night in total viewers with 9.19 million watching.

Related: Columbus Short Leaving ABC’s ‘Scandal’

Read More »

Comments (19)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ Falls, ‘Hannibal’ Surges, ’20/20′ Up As ABC Wins Demo For Friday

By | Saturday April 19, 2014 @ 9:58am PDT

kitchen nightmares april 18There was a lot cooking on primetime last night and Friday’s menu was a mix of the undercooked and the more-than-just-right. The second week of Season 6 of Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares traveled to the troubled Old Neighborhood Restaurant in Arvada, CO and to a Greek joint in Queens, NY, where the owner couple were in almost as much trouble as their establishment. Unfortunately for the two-hour reality show, the trouble didn’t stop there: the Gordon Ramsay series took a 17% dive from its 8 PM (1.0/4) premiere April 11 and an 18% drop from its 9 PM (0.9/3) broadcast last week. Read More »

Comments (13)

Sony Pictures TV Prevails In ‘Shark Tank’ Lawsuit

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 5:00pm PDT

MARK CUBAN, BARBARA CORCORAN, KEVIN O’LEARY, LORI GREINER, ROBERT HERJAVECA judge in Florida has ruled in favor of Sony Pictures Television in a $50 million lawsuit over the reality TV show Shark Tank. “Sony Pictures Television won a directed verdict and the entire case was settled afterwards,” said Sony TV spokeswoman Paula Askanas today. The suit against the producers of the entrepreneurial reality show was filed by Florida attorney Bobbie Cellar. He claimed that he’d hired two of the show’s “sharks,” Daymond John and Robert Herjavec, to appear at an event he called the “Shark Tour,” an expo for people trying to start their own businesses. The suit claimed that Sony Pictures Television coerced John and Hervavac to withdraw from Cellar’s event because SPT didn’t want anyone to think the show and his expo were in any way connected. Cellar was unavailable for comment.

Comments (0)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ Returns Strong, ‘Neighbors’ Finale & ‘Shark Tank’ Down, ‘Unforgettable’ & ‘Hart Of Dixie’ Up

By | Saturday April 12, 2014 @ 9:45am PDT

Kitchen Nightmares April 11For one of the traditionally quietest nights on TV, there was a lot going on Friday in primetime. For one, the Ramsayfication of Fox continued anew with the return of Kitchen Nightmares last night and that seems to have been a good place to be. Back for its sixth season, Gordon’s weekly attempt to save a failing establishment kicked off with a 2-hour debut that saw Ramsay return to Scottsdale, Arizona and Amy’s Baking Company, which he stalked out of last year, and then head to Denver to help a struggling pizza joint. In its first spring premiere, the 8 PM (1.2/5) KN was up 33% from the 0.9/3 rating among adults 18-49 that its 1-hour October 26, 2012 Season 5 debut drew in the same slot. The 9 PM (1.1/4) airing last night saw a 22% rise over the last season opener. Time slot to slot, the restaurant makeover series was even last night with its last season finale on May 10, 2013. Read More »

Comments (9)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Shark Tank’ & ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Fall, ‘Scandal’ Steady, ‘Elementary’ Rises, ‘Reign’ & ‘Community’ Hit Lows

By | Friday April 11, 2014 @ 9:11am PDT

KERRY WASHINGTONLike last week’s announcement that David Letterman was retiring in 2015, yesterday’s news that Stephen Colbert would take over CBS’ Late Show overshadowed Thursday’s primetime as the big action on TV. But that didn’t mean there was a lot going on last night. With its penultimate episode before next week’s Season 3 finale, Scandal (3.0/9) not unexpectedly ramped it up with more tension and potentially explosive outcomes. The Shonda Rhimes-produced drama also bopped up 3% among adults 18-49 compared with last week’s season low. Lead-in Grey’s Anatomy (2.5/8) dipped 7% from its April 3 episode. With Once Upon A Time In Wonderland wrapped up for good last week, ABC kicked off its Thursday primetime with a special Shark Tank (1.6/6). The first of a two-nighter, the entrepreneurial reality series was down 20% from its last regular Friday airing on April 4 but gave ABC a six-month high in adults 18-49 for the 8 PM slot. With a 2.4/8 rating, ABC was tied with CBS for the 18-49 top spot, but the latter finished first in total viewers with 9.76 million. Read More »

Comments (4)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Unforgettable’ Return, ‘Hannibal’ & ‘Neighbors’ Down, ‘Raising Hope’ Finale Up, ABC Wins Night In Demo

By | Saturday April 5, 2014 @ 9:59am PDT

UNFORGETTABLE APRIL 4 CBSThe end of the workweek was a night of new beginnings and a final farewell on primetime last night. The beginning was the return of Unforgettable (1.0/4) for the last six episodes of its second season on CBS. The Sony TV-produced procedural starring Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Walsh is in some ways, the show that will never die – having cancelled once and then brought back to life again in summer 2012 with a new pick up. Last night, however, Unforgettable took a hit in its latest return. Already renewed for a third season set to start in June, the show fell 23% last night from its Sunday July 28 Season 2 debut of last year. While even with its last show on September 8 last year, last night’s Unforgettable actually saw a small 4% total viewership rise from its Season 2 debut to an audience of 7.50 million. Back with their first originals since March 14, Hawaii Five-0 (1.3/5) and Blue Bloods (1.5/5) were down and up 7% respectively, with the latter the most watched show of the night with 11.40 million viewers. Read More »

Comments 31

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Hannibal’ Surges, ‘Rake’ Hits New Low, ‘Whose Line’ Down, CBS Wins Night With NCAA Basketball

By | Saturday March 29, 2014 @ 10:37am PDT

Hannibal - Season 2It was a primetime of blood, basketball and some serious shaking out on the West Coast last night. The latter was the 5.1 earthquake that rocked southern Californian just after 9 PM PT on Friday. In terms of TV, that led to all the networks in the LA-area preempting regular programming with news coverage of the quake for the rest of the night. It also means that there will more than likely be greater adjustments than usual in the final numbers on Monday. Having said that, it was a very tasty night for Hannibal (1.1/3). With a return appearance by Eddie Izzard, some cutting and a hanging of a sort, the often blood soaked NBC thriller series leaped up 22% among adults 18-49 over its March 21 show. That’s the best Hannibal has done in the key demo since its February 28 Season 2 debut. In terms of viewers, with 3.6 million watching, Hannibal rose 36% over last week to hit its biggest audience since the 4.4 million who tuned in for its second show on April 11, 2013. Of course, Hannibal probably got a bit of a helping hand viewershipwise from its 2-hour Dateline (1.4/5) lead-in. While even with last week’s show among the 18-49 demo, the NBC news mag series hit its highest Friday audience since March 25, 2011 with 8.0 million watching.

Related: Networks Interrupt Programming To Cover Earthquake & Aftershocks; Disneyland Shuts Read More »

Comments 34

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Whose Line’ Returns Down, Tops ‘Rake’, ‘Dixie’ Inches Up

By | Saturday March 22, 2014 @ 10:10am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Whose-Line-Is-It-AnywayThe CW’s new Friday lineup premiered last night, anchored by summer breakout Whose Line Is Is Anyway at 8 PM. The improv comedy opened its second cycle with a 0.6 in adults 18-49 and 1.91 million viewers. That was down sharply from the 1.1 for the show’s summer debut but that opener was boosted by curiosity as it marked the comedy’s return after a six-year hiatus. Last night’s Whose Line edged the summer finale (0.5). It also topped in the demo the second Friday airing of Fox’s Rake (0.5, flat with last week, 1.92 million) at 8 PM. Whose Line’s viewership was the largest for a regularly scheduled CW programming in the hour in almost three years, since the May 2011 season finale of former Friday dweller Supernatural. At 9 PM, Hart of Dixie (0.4, 1.23 million) rose by a tenth in 18-49 in its new home vs. its last airing on Monday and by 19% in total viewers. It tied Fox in the hour in 18-49, facing an Enlisted rerun (0.4) and new Raising Hope (0.4). Read More »

Comments (6)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Rake’ Tanks In New Slot, ‘Hannibal’ Rises, ‘Undercover Boss’ Finale Up Over Last Year, ABC Wins Night In Demo

By | Saturday March 15, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT

rake march 14When Fox moved newbie Enlisted on Friday nights in January, the show saw a big jump upwards. The same could not be said for fellow freshman Rake (0.5/2) last night on its move to Fridays. The debut of the Greg Kinnear–starring drama in its new slot last night saw the faltering show hit a new low – down 37% from its last original on Thursday March 6. How much longer Rake will last now is really a matter of how low Fox is willing to let the show go. With a falling Rake as its lead-in instead of a Bones repeat, Enlisted (0.6/2) took a hit last night. The comedy was down 14% from its March 7 show. At least Raising Hope escaped unscathed. That comedy was even with last week’s 0.5/2 rating.

Related: Fox’s ‘Rake’ Moves To Fridays Read More »

Comments 37

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Hannibal’ Falls Hard, ‘Enlisted’ Up, ‘Blue Bloods’ Even, ‘Shark Tank’ Dips As ABC Wins Night In Demo

By | Saturday March 8, 2014 @ 9:34am PST

MARK CUBAN, DAYMOND JOHNThings we know – the Olympics are long done, the Oscars have come and gone and awards season is over (for now) and ABC dominates Fridays. However, even though the network won the night among adults 18-49 with a 1.6/6 rating, ABC still stumbled a bit compared to last week – both down from its season demo high and with individual shows. With pitches for bicycle lighting and one for the baby knee pads Shark Tank (2.0/7) easily led the night as the highest rated show. With a 5% dip from its February 28 show, the entrepreneurial reality series basically stayed steady with last week. Though with 7.49 million watching it was down from its second best viewership result ever of  7.7 million from last week. Among the rest of ABC’s night, the only show to stay total even with last week was 20/20 (1.8/6) Comedies Last Man Standing (1.3/5) and The Neighbors (0.9/3) were up 8% and down 10% respectively from their February 28 shows. Read More »

Comments 36

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Shark Tank’ & ‘20/20’ Rebound Post-Olympics; ‘Hannibal’ Soft In Return; CBS Lineup Down

By | Saturday March 1, 2014 @ 10:07am PST
Nellie Andreeva

hugh-dancy-hannibal-season-2-premiere-recap-nbcWith the Olympics over, ABC returned to its dominant self on Friday, paced by Shark Tank (2.1 in adults 18-49, up 24% from last week) and 20/20 (1.8, up 29%), which were back to finishing 1-2 for the night. Shark Tank drew its second largest audience ever (7.8 million). ABC’s comedies returned lower from their last originals, Last Man Standing (1.2, down 20%) and The Neighbors (1.0, down 9%). Still, ABC easily top the night, equaling its season high in the demo (1.7)

On NBC, Grimm returned from hiatus to a 1.4, down a tenth from its last original on Jan. 24. It led to the second season premiere of Hannibal, which posted a 1.1 demo rating. That was down from Hannibal‘s series premiere (1.6) in the Thursday 10 PM slot last season and the debut of Dracula (1.8) in the Friday 10 PM hour earlier this season. NBC points out that Hannibal’s Season 2 premiere topped the last five episode of Hannibal‘s first season. But those five episodes aired after the end of the season with very low HUT levels and in a vacuum, with no programming support. For instance, the Season 1 finale of the drama series posted a 0.8 in 18-49 behind an hourlong rerun of The Office, which manged a 0.5 in the demo. Last night, it followed … Read More »

Comments 24

RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS’ Lineup Posts Highs, ‘Carrie Diaries’ Inches Up In Finale

By | Saturday February 1, 2014 @ 10:02am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Run to YouThere was a lot of movement last night. CBS returned to originals, with all programs exceeding their most recent deliveries. Undercover Boss (1.7) continues to show resilience, up a tenth from its last original two weeks ago and drawing its largest audience (9.23 million) in a year. The reality series was also up when it returned from a monthlong hiatus two weeks ago only to be pre-empted again last Friday. The lack of drama competition on NBC boosted CBS’ procedurals. Hawaii Five-0 (1.7, up 13%, 11.13 million) posted season highs in 18-49 and total viewers. CBS would love to see those numbers at 10 PM on Monday where Hawaii‘s successors Hostages and Intelligence have grossly underperformed. Blue Bloods (1.6, up 14%, 12.79 million) delivered its largest audience since the series premiere three and a half years ago.

CBS won the night in total viewers (11.05) but was edged by ABC (1.7 to 1.6) in adults 18-49, which was paced again by Shark Tank (2.1). Read More »

Comments (13)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Enlisted’ Surges In New Slot, ‘Shark Tank’ Hits Series High

By | Saturday January 25, 2014 @ 10:02am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Enlisted-Pilot_SC27_0157Very encouraging news for Fox’s new comedy Enlisted. After launching to a 0.7 rating in adults 18-49 and dropping to a 0.6 in Week 2, the comedy jumped 67% in its third outing last night to a 1.0. The radical improvement was the result of a scheduling move, with Fox swapping Enlisted and Raising Hope to give the newbie a better lead-in from Bones. Some of the ratings gains for Enlisted vs. Raising Hope in the 9 PM time period were organic and some were because Bones (1.8) itself was up this week, by 20%. Enlisted‘s lead-in retention was 56% vs. 46% for Raising Hope last week. As for Raising Hope, it logged a 0.8 in its new 9:30 PM slot, also an improvement over last week’s 0.7.

Related: Fox Moves ‘Enlisted’ To Friday 9 PM Slot

Viewers already are frustrated with the broadcast schedule that constantly switches between originals and reruns, making it hard to know when your show is on (unless your DVR does it for you.) So it is hard to explain CBS’ decision to bring Undercover Boss from a monthlong hiatus last Friday only to air a rerun again last night. The unscripted series showed resilience in its return last week, posting a 14% gain vs. its last original on Dec. 16 but who knows how long it can keep up with the scheduling shell game. Read More »

Comments 23

RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS’ ‘Undercover Boss’ Up In Return, NBC Dramas Rebound

By | Saturday January 18, 2014 @ 9:33am PST
Nellie Andreeva

undercover-boss-logo_20110328001421CBS’ Undercover Boss showed no signs of rust in its return from a monthlong hiatus, logging a 1.6 at 8 PM last night, up 14% from its last original on December 16. But that had little impact on the rest of CBS’ lineup, with Hawaii Five-0 (1.5) matching its fast national from last week and Blue Bloods (1.4) slipping a tenth. A stronger lead-in helped NBC’s 9-11 PM dramas. After dropping last week with a low-rated Olympics special at 8 PM, Grimm (1.5) and Dracula (0.9) both rebounded with Dateline (1.5) back, up 15% and 29%, respectively. Fox’s Bones (1.5) held steady, but the network’s comedies each slipped a tenth to rank as the lowest-rated programs of the night. Raising Hope posted a 0.7, while Enlisted logged a 0.6 in its second week. Also down a notch this week were ABC’s comedies. Last Man Standing (1.4) was down a tenth, The Neighbors (0.9) down o.2. But with Shark Tank (2.1) and 20/20 (1.7) steady, matching season highs and repeating as the two highes- rated programs of the night, ABC again was No.1 in adults 18-49 (1.7) . CBS was tops in viewers (10.6 million). On the CW, The Carrie Diaries (0.4) was up a tenth.

Comments (8)
More Deadline | Hollywood »