Too much Reality in 2016, but viewers praise our Dramas.

Viewers are (again) citing an overdose of Reality TV as amongst their biggest criticisms of TV in 2016.

Comments submitted in current voting for the TV Tonight Awards show readers want more diversity of genres in their TV diets:

“Too much rubbish reality shows – networks getting on a bandwagon (food, dating etc). Only ABC really investing in Aus comedy,” says one reader.

“Too much reality with the same show on multiple nights per week on every channel. Enough cooking, singing and renovations. Best place for quality drama is Foxtel and Netflix,” says another.

Other readers reiterated similar thoughts:

“Too much of networks copying each others programming (eg dating reality shows). Too many regional viewers being left behind because of outdated technologies (eg still no 7flix broadcasting in my area).”

“Too many renovation and romance ‘reality’ shows.”

“Too much reliance on reality shows and stripped formats – needs variety.”

“Far too much reality. Far too many repeats of weekday shows at weekends like Morning Show, Home and Away, The Block etc.”

“It is sad that all we have a copy cat back to back reality shows on all 3 channels and the same ones year after year – how boring – I literally live on streaming services – but watch Project and a few things.. on normal TV – but never in real time.”

“Better this year than in recent years, but those dating shows are the absolute pits.”

“Australian tv needs to start moving away from the reality genre. Don’t get me wrong I do like reality television, but I wanna see more Australian dramas, comedies, thrillers, documentary’s and horror. Spice it up a bit.”

However there was strong praise for Australian drama this year, if with a footnote about how they were programmed.

“I am glad there is more Aussie drama but it needs to be spread over the year! Too much reality! We need hour and half hour start times!”

“Despite the shitty year we’ve had as a whole, Aussie (and international) drama has genuinely been on point this year, especially with the likes of The Kettering Incident and Secret City.”

“Great year of Australian Drama this year. Still too many reality shows, especially the dating genre.”

“Great to see more Australian Drama on TV.”

“I have really enjoyed all the Aussie drama and comedy shows produced this year.”

“Great to see more drama and comedy this year… but boo to some of them being screened against each other.”

“In the last couple of years, I’ve only cried twice because of a TV show and both of them were finales from Aussie shows this year (Wentworth and Australian Survivor). This year, we truly showed the international stage how good we can make TV.”

“Australian scripted tv needs to take more risk, especially for male millennials. The only scripted shows free to air make are targeted for women.”

Voting for the TV Tonight Awards closes this Saturday if you still want to have your say.


  1. Far too many so called reality shows. It seems that in vocal shows it’s more about the judges than contestants. Some cooking shows should be called Adults Behaving Badly. Unfortunately some Reno shows are going the same way. Please don’t get me started on dating shows!!! Our Aussie dramas are in the main outstanding and should be promoted more. There’s some wonderful talent out there!

    • The so called Reno shows haven’t been about renovations or building in years. Its all about generating conflict between the “contestants” and pushing the sponsors logos and products. As someone in the property development field, there is no comparison with the real world.

  2. I have mixed feelings on reality TV.

    We have some good ones (MasterChef, Australian Survivor), but I feel a lot of them were once good but have started to become stale (The Voice, X Factor and The Biggest Loser)

  3. I’m curious to know why reality TV is still big. Has anyone done studies on it???? It’s just soooo much of the same thing every week and they all have the same format. What is it that makes this style so popular in Australia. I mean it dominates content on free to air. I actually find it bizarre that people just don’t get jack of the same old thing I remember David Lyle was interviewed 15 years ago and they asked him would real it TV lose popularity soon and he seem to think there was miles left in the format. And turns out he was right.

  4. There are so many cooking, talent, Reno, dating reality comp shows on FTA and I am sick and tired of them. I think it’s about time that the Networks should think of variety kinds of shows.

    • Alas, if only they were cooking, talent, etc. shows. They are merely vehicles for creating drama and reactions from the carefully selected participants. I think others on here have referred to them as scripted reality shows.
      It’s hard to see how FTA networks can wean themselves off this rubbish. But that’s only my opinion.

  5. I guess the blame for reality TV can be shared between the need for Aussie content and British TV who invented budget Reality shows in all genres to fill their time slots and have been successful at it. With pay TV and streaming filling the gaps it’s unlikely that FTA will be investing like Netflix and to a lesser degree Foxtel in original drama, soap shows will be the easiest to produce. FTA needs to lose SD and make HD standard for all channels, if they want some kudos it’ll be a good start with 4K broadcasting not far away.

  6. I feel sorry that the Australian public think that MKR needs to be show for what seems to be like 6 months of the year. So far the people that are on this years MKS seem the most cringe worthy people I have ever seen on a reality show. What is a ‘social media influencer’? Is that code for something you call yourself so you feel important? The yummy mummies makes me want to through a show at my TV. This is brainless TV at its best. Gogglebox australia is the inbred cousin of the UK version. The UK version is so far ahead of the dull australia version. It helps to watch it if I have insomnia

    • People who use the phrase “hash tag” in conversations need to be stopped… Urge to kill always rises when I see the social media influencers in the ads…

  7. I think this is the first time one of my comments made it into a wrap-up! 😉 I’m the sook who cried. But what brilliantly executed finales they were! Totally agree with the comment about dating shows – they’re an absolute turn-off.

  8. We need more Janet King, Wentworth (I know it’s coming) and maybe another season of Hyde and Seek, if the writing is tighter. Please Like Me seems to have come to a natural end,which I do like to see in a program, there’s possibly something new that Chris Lilley could do, perhaps Roy & HG could find a new groove.
    Lots of possibilities.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.