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TV

Could this be the end of celebrity reality TV shows? Television executives question the longevity of high-profile faces on air

''I think the broader question is the sustainability of celebrity shows.''

By Alana Mazzoni
In recent months, you'd be hard pressed turning on the TV and not seeing a bunch of celebrities battling it out on some form of reality show.
From Big Brother VIP, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, and SAS Australia, Celebrity Apprentice and Celebrity MasterChef, the standard reality TV format has been shaken up since the arrival of well-known faces vying for charity money on our screens.
But a top Channel Nine executive says primetime has now been oversaturated with high-profile talent.
Big Brother VIP managed to secure A-lister Caitlyn Jenner and Meghan Markle's brother Thomas Markle Jr. (Image: Seven)
Nine's Director of 9Now and Programming, Hamish Turner, said he questions how sustainable such shows will be in the future.
"You can have clickbait but you also want to have nuance in there as well," he told TV Tonight.
"In Celebrity Apprentice, there are probably people from the outset, who aren't household names. But actually, they've been cast for character as part of a mix."
But despite the networks forking out big bucks for celebrities, shows with ordinary Australians like The Voice, Farmer Wants a Wife, Lego Masters and Australian Survivor have proved themselves in the ratings.
Hamish said his network's non-celebrity shows, Lego Masters, Love Island and Beauty and the Geek have earned their keep in the primetime slot.
"Even when we're looking at commissioning, we are very concerned and conscious of shows that come in pitching celebrities as part of it, because you think, 'How sustainable is this?'" he said.
SAS Australia featured a mix of high-profile Australian celebrities, including big drawcards Sam Burgess and Koby Abberton. (Image: Seven)
To break the ratings down, Channel Ten's new "Brains v Brawn" format for Australian Survivor, which features all unknown contestants, won all three key advertising demos and raked in an average 752,000 metro viewers during its premiere.
However, I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, which airs on the same network, was able to hold its own and drew more than one million viewers on its first episode.
Meanwhile, Nine's The Block, which features a mixture of familiar and unknown faces, was the top non-news show in the total TV ratings for October 4, with 1.654m people tuning in.

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