REALITY STAR: PRACTICALLY NOTHING-$200K AN EPISODE
Sure, if you're a member of the Duck Dynasty clan — or a Kardashian — you can make millions (like Kourtney and Kim's reported $40 million, three-year deal with E!, or the Robertson family's more than $200,000 an episode deal with A&E for Dynasty). Even D-list celebs who go on Wife Swap can make decent money: $10,000 to $20,000 an episode. But for the vast majority of reality show performers — unfamous Bachelor contestants and other run-of-the mill reality hopefuls — jury duty pays better. You're given a minimal stipend to compensate for missed wages, and that's pretty much it. The real money in reality comes from parlaying your TV profile into something larger, the way Housewives star Bethenny Frankel managed to land that $100 million Skinnygirl deal in 2011. Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino spun six seasons on MTV's Jersey Shore into $9 million from endorsements of products including vitamins, clothing, jewelry and sunglasses. Those deals are rare these days, but on a more modest scale, hot-ish reality stars can pick up an easy $5,000 to $10,000 just for showing up for paid "appearances" at bars and nightclubs.
Bloody brilliant: Getting a TV-ready look on a web budget
The semi-improvised, seat-of-the-pants, let’s-put-on-a-show freshness of digital projects is a big part of their appeal for fans.
But the ultra-low budgets that dictate this aesthetic for most productions outside the Netflix-Amazon Studios orbit can present some daunting challenges for people like costume designer Vanessa Driveness and other crew members in the various below-the-line departments, from set design and makeup, to stunts.
If they fail to overcome those challenges, producers are stuck with footage that looks more like dad’s VHS cam Christmas pageant recordings circa 1995, and less like the increasingly broadcast-like content viewers have come to expect.
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Gogglebox is a British observational documentary, which has aired since 7 March 2013 on Channel 4. The show features recurring British couples, families and friends sitting in their living rooms watching weekly British television shows.
Why reality television won’t be Lindsay Lohan’s Comeback
By Nico Lang
There’s a great moment midway through the first (and currently the only) season of The Comeback, HBO’s 2005 cult comedy starring Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow plays Valerie Cherish, a washed-up sitcom star given a second lease on fame with a supporting role in a broad TV comedy (the perfectly titled Room And Bored), as well as her own tie-in reality show. During a lunch meeting with a TV Guide reporter, Cherish insists that the show isn’t going to be tawdry; she wants to tell her story “with dignity.” The Comeback itself is about the tension between the story Cherish wants to tell and the one she’s actually telling. Hidden behind an ersatz grin, Cherish wants to put on a brave face and be the hero of her own story. Sitting down to watch the Room And Bored pilot, she realizes the reality of television is more complicated.
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