Was Your Favorite Show Affected By Reality TV’s Mass Exodus?

Photo: Leon Bennett/WireImage.
For better or for worse, the television landscape has faced a serious shakeup within the last few months. It would be easy to blame the global pandemic for the many changes we’ve seen in Hollywood — the coronavirus did shut down television and film sets all over the world — but the changes we’re seeing across networks might actually be a sign that television programming intends to to look very, very different in the near future. And the reality TV scene might be taking the hardest hit, especially since it feels like everyone from your favorite shows is moving on (or even being fired).
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Yesterday, news broke that Tom Bergeron had been let go from his gig as the host of ABC's Dancing with the Stars alongside co-host Erin Andrews. One of television's most enduring personalities — you probably also remember him hosting America's Funniest Home Videos and Hollywood Squares — Bergeron was the face of the dancing competition for 15 long years.
"Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me," he shared on Twitter this morning. "It's been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career. I'm grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made. That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?"
Popular daytime talk show The Real will also be losing a key co-host after the controversial departure of Tamar Braxton in 2016; Tamera Mowry-Housely has also announced that she's moving on to spend more time with her family as well as pursue other opportunities — which hopefully involve a modern reboot of Sister, Sister or the criminally-underrated film Seventeen Again. News of Mowry-Housely's shocking departure follows Amanda Seales' hasty exit in June, just six months after replacing Braxton as its fifth co-host.
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But reality competition series and talk shows are just the tip of the iceberg. One by one, the reality space is getting less crowded. Bravo shockingly fired Vanderpump Rules fan favorites Stassi Schroeder and Kristin Doute (we're still waiting on Jax Taylor's pink slip) after being present with overwhelming evidence of racist behavior from former fans of the show. The network also parted ways with Tinsley Mortimer (The Real Housewives of New York), Tamra Judge (The Real Housewives of Orange County), Eva Marcille (The Real Housewives of Atlanta), and even OG Nene Leakes (RHOA), possible consequences of a dip in the ratings and negative chatter about the TV personalities online.
While some of these casting changes are the result of people just growing pains, they also speak to the unpredictable nature of the reality space and the evolution of viewers who tune into the genre. Something about reality TV hits especially differently in quarantine. Shows that fall under the umbrella of reality TV should be interesting, but in current times, they should also speak to the needs that we can't exactly fulfill right now. Can't date because you're stuck in the house? Binge watching Dating Around or Too Hot to Handle will remind you might be better off minding your business — the dating game is stressful! Travel plans canceled because of the 'rona? Travel the world with your childhood crush Zac Efron (Down to Earth) and eat your way around the country with Padma Lakshmi (Taste the Nation). Miss fighting with your family for literally no reason? Keeping Up with the Kardashians has you covered.
Clearly, network executives are following our viewing trends and subsequent online conversations about these shows very closely — the mass exodus from the space reflects their careful observation. So it wouldn't be a stretch to predict that we might be seeing more and more reality TV staples get the boot. Chris Harrison...watch your back.

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