CW Lessons: Reality TV Format Changes Can Work… But Sometimes, If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It
After a few seasons, some tried-and-true CW reality shows couldn't resist shaking things up a bit with a new format. Did the changes work? Well, depends on the show (and who you ask). Here are two shows we think became even stronger with a few tweaks to their formats:
America's Next Top Model: We think bringing the franchise back to New York was one of Tyra's best decisions in awhile. The LA cycles just didn't have the same frenetic energy of NYC's streets. Watching the girls navigate LA's streets in the back of a limo couldn't compare to the excitement of seeing them race through Midtown or the Fashion District. And yeah, LA has great laid-back style, but NYC is still the epicenter of fashion in the US -- and gives the girls ample opportunities to strut their stuff on the street. Case closed. Tyra, keep ANTM in NYC, please!
Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious: The second installment of The Search for the Next Doll felt more true to itself than the first. That's because in a controversial move, first season winner Asia chose to pursue a solo career rather than join the Pussycat Dolls... even though having her join was the entire premise of the show! This time around, Robin and her pals wisely chose to form an entirely new group, Girlicious -- a younger, sassier version of PCD. The girls not only had to show they could stand out, they had to prove they could work together (as this Sourcies clip illustrates, it didn't always go smoothly!). Not everyone was happy with all the winners, but at least we know they'll go on to work with Robin in the group we were promised!
We didn't welcome all format changes this year, though. Consider Beauty and the Geek. For its fifth season, the stalwart show decided to pit the beauties and the geek against each other in competition, in lieu of its usual beauty/geek pairings. Keep reading to find out why we weren't fans of this shakeup!
Those of us who adored watching beauties and geeks bond felt cheated when the total opposites fought against each other instead. How was this different from any other reality show, exactly? The show wisened up and went back to its original format a few episodes in, but by then we think the damage may have been done -- ratings were down, and BATG is going on hiatus for awhile. We hope the show learns from its mistakes and comes back stronger than ever... by sticking with what works.
What do you think? Which reality show format changes worked for you... and which had you throwing pillows at your TV? Which reality shows could use some serious change, and what would you suggest? Let us know in the comments!