Make it stop… we’re at peak Celebrity shows now, thanks!

Will the list of Celebrity reality shows never end?

Australia, your celebrities are ready….

And they’re ready whether you like it or not, in every second reality series invading our screens.

Hot on the heels of Dancing with the Stars: All Stars  and a Celebrity special of Holey Moley we have Celebrity Apprentice and plenty more celebs in store. Then there were also Celebrity editions of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Yet to screen are new celebrities in SAS Australia, The Masked Singer, Big Brother: VIP, Celebrity Gogglebox, The New Full Monty and Celebrity MasterChef.

Even SBS has Celebrity Mastermind on the way back.

Before you know it we’ll be back to I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

We’re already seeing celebs appear in multiple franchises: Michelle Bridges was on DWTS on 10 and is now competing on Celebrity Apprentice. Paulini was in Masked Singer and I’m A Celebrity, Schapelle Corby was on SAS Australia and DWTS. Manu Feildel and Bonnie Anderson, from DWTS and Masked Singer respectively, are headed to SAS Australia.

In almost every one of the above shows it is inevitable that celebs are also eliminated, which is very predictable. Same for making us play guessing games on who is in the cast (it was fun for the jungle, it’s essential for Masked Singer, but let’s not make it mandatory please).

Sure we’ve got a pandemic and production has been challenging, but Australia is also producing so much TV.

Networks are clearly hoping that familiar faces will ensure shows have a fighting chance in a competitive and diminishing landscape. But I reckon they overlook what happens when viewers latch onto new characters.

We’ve seen time and again reactions to surprising individuals in reality shows whose behaviour or moral compass is off the charts (MAFS and MKR have had plenty, or Angela in last year’s BB, for example). Watching real people in the unscripted field is a bit like peeling back onion skins. When casting gets it right they can underpin an entire season and draw out watercooler conversation.

If Schapelle can cook we’re in big trouble.

23 Responses

  1. I would like to see Celebrity Mafs, Celebrity First Date, Celebrity Wife Swap,Celebrity Olympics, and Celebrity Sate of Origin……there are still so many more possibilities

    1. Suspect a light bulb has just gone off as Channel 9 with Celebrity State of Origin. We’ve long had a bi-annual Soccer Aid match here in the UK which is essentially the same concept.

      And yes, ITV are also basically doing a Celebrity Olympics this summer to.

  2. Well said, David. As I’ve often (and recently) commented elsewhere, I love MasterChef but won’t be tuning in for a celebrity version. I did like the original Apprentice (remember when Trump was just a TV character? Those were the days!) and the Mark Bouris version was really good with people genuinely wanting to win prize money and a job, too but the Celebrity versions were forced and there was no reason to care about the outcome. And let us not forget how truly turgid Seven’s Celebrity Survivor turned out (please 10, don’t do it!!!).
    The only format that has worked with celebs was the first season of SAS Australia. It was genuinely interesting to see Shannon Ponton on the other side of the boot, facing his own self doubts in challenges he himself was expected to cane, or feel for Merrick Watts as he confronted his own identity crisis. That was a show that gave us good reason to…

  3. What’s next? The Amazing Race Australia: Celebrity Special? Australian Survivor: Battle Of The Celebs? The Masked Dancer?

    By the way, maybe Schapelle could cook Hash Browns, but not the ones you get from McDonalds at breakfast…

  4. The viewing audience in general have celeb fatigue, look at what shows rate well, they are “normal nobodies”.. MAFS, The Block, Mastercook..etc..stick to the hoi polloi instead of meh celebs

  5. I remember it used to be a really anticipated event when the cast of DWTS was announced, these days it feels like there is a celeb reality cast being revealed every week.

    I’ve heard that celebrity versions can be cheaper to produce because cattle call auditions of normal people are expensive, time consuming and unpredictable. Whereas most of the celebs that do these things are just bought off the shelf from agencies.

    1. I somehow doubt cattle calls cost more than celebrity wages. In any case it was mainly the big talent shows that did those kinds of cattle calls, these days most casting begins online + video before face to face call backs.

  6. While some shows need the celebrity factor as part of the format (Masked Singer), I tend to not enjoy these Celebrity reality shows and I’d much rather see normal civilian contestants on most of these shows

    I find normal people more compelling in competing on these shows (as the experience is novel & exciting for them), rather than celebs, for whom competing on these shows is just another gig & paycheque.

  7. I’m surprised you’d take this stance David. I thought you were usually in favour of local productions? Love them or hate them, Celebrity programs keep many people in jobs, both in front of and behind the camera. And at a time where the arts is struggling due to the pandemic, surely keeping people employed is a good thing for the industry I would have thought.

  8. And why would we want it to stop? I love celebrity versions of shows. It’s great seeing them in a different light, seeing them argue with each other or getting to know them for things other then what they are known for. Not to say anything bad about ordinary normal people cos I like that too. Just bring it all on. Don’t stop with the reality tv.

  9. My observation is that there are so many “Celebrity” editions of reality shows is that these ‘celebrities’ – mainly actors – can’t get much acting work due to the cheap production of said reality shows and disposable ratings they bring in.
    That’s when you compare them to high budget dramas and the gradual build of ratings that come when you commit to a drama long enough.
    TV has bitten the hand that feeds them.

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