It took awhile but Viacom
Summer has proven to be a fertile testing ground for reality television. With scripted shows typically on hiatus until the fall, it's usually a low-cost way to produce something fresher than a second showing of Everybody Loves Raymond. Advertisers and couch potatoes alike can appreciate that.
While most reality shows have fallen by the wayside, every major network has at least one that anchors its weekly schedule. Disney's
To be frank, it's great to see Viacom's CBS put out a product that doesn't have CSI stamped on it. While the crime action series -- and the legs of Survivor, the mother of all reality shows -- has helped improve its ratings, diversification isn't just a sound portfolio strategy. ABC taught every network the dangers of overexposure when it rode Who Wants to Be a Millionaireinto the ground.
So even if watching globetrotters race around the world doesn't sound like your cup of tea, when you think about it, it sure beats the alternative. With networks now unwilling to yield the summer season to stale programming, we all win.
Will you be watching The Amazing Race tonight or do you prefer a different breed of reality television? Has the genre run its course? What will they think of next? All this and more -- in the Reality Television discussion board. Only on Fool.com.