The Appeal of Reality Television for Teen and Pre-Teen Audiences: The Power of Connectedness and Psycho-demographics

Anthony Patino and Veltichka D. Kaltcheva

Loyola Marymount University

Michael F. Smith

Temple University


Television programming has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Situation comedies, family dramas, and crime shows have given way to a number of reality programs such as American Idol, The Biggest Loser, Jersey Shore, and The Real World. Reality programs accounted for approximately 14 percent of the 2009–2010 broadcast network television prime-time schedule and a significantly higher percentage of the programming schedule on the cable networks. In fact, 27 hours of reality programs were scheduled on broadcast network television in the first quarter of 2008, a 50-percent increase from the prior year (Wyatt, 2007).