Reality television takes a new turn for the dramatic with an onslaught of music artists literally signing their lives away to give their fans a first-look at the ins and outs of being a celebrity.
In 2013, TV watchers can expect new reality shows from Mac Miller, Shawty Lo, Cyndi Lauper, and T-Boz of TLC to join the already saturated market of music stars turned reality moguls.
The trend has proven quite profitable for those who are dealing with struggling music sales or a subsiding fan base. On average, reality stars can make anywhere from $100,000 to nearly $1 million per episode, depending on their popularity.
Hip Hop artist T.I., also known as Clifford Harris, has gracefully turned the tide in his favor by debuting family-friendly show T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle on VH1, which first premiered in 2011.
T.I. reflected on how the show has revealed a different side of his life during a recent interview with Beauty Within TV, “We’re actually a full functional family.” T.I. continued, “[Fans] see the dynamics and foundation that holds all things together.”
Family Hustle generates over 4 million viewers for the VH1 TV network, second only behind Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, which is another show that features music artists profiting from the latest reality TV trend.
TV One’s R&B Divas, spearheaded by R&B singer Faith Evans, is another music-based show that will be returning in 2013. R&B Divas gives insight into the daily challenges female singers face, while balancing work, family, and friendship.
Of course, there is a list of celebrities that were first to market when reality programming became groundbreaking for music artists. Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Brandy and Ray J, Flavor Flav, Russell Simmons, and Ice-T are some of the first music acts to dabble in reality.
But, the buck doesn’t stop here. The list continues to grow as newcomers The Game (Marrying the Game), Mary Mary (Mary, Mary), The Braxton Family (Braxton Family Values, Tamar & Vince), and Keyshia Cole (Family First) anticipate renewing their shows for another season.
While a decent amount of these TV series are pure fun and entertainment, some shows reveal a dark and dirty side of reality TV as they reinforce stereotypes and make light of serious issues.
This genre of reality TV has been labeled “ratchet TV”, a derivative slang of the word wretched. Premiering early 2013, rapper Shawty Lo’s new Oxygen reality series All My Babies’ Mamas will delve into his life as he balances 10 different women and their 11 children in a suburb in Atlanta. Guaranteed to be an attention-getter, the show is already receiving backlash, as well as a slew of fans waiting for its premiere.
While some complain about this type of programming on television, others embrace the ever-evolving genre calling it the guilty pleasure of media entertainment. Whatever the overriding opinions may be, one thing is for certain is that reality TV is not going anywhere for a while.
List of some reality shows featuring music artists to look for in 2013:
Big Rich Atlanta, Premieres Jan. 23 on Style Network
Braxton Family Values, Premieres mid-2013 on WEtv
Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual, Premieres Jan. 12 on WEtv
Love & Hip Hop, Premieres Jan. 7 on VH1
Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, Premieres mid-2013
Mac Miller Untitled Reality Show, Premieres March 2013 on MTV2
Mary Mary, Currently on WEtv
Real Housewives of Atlanta, Currently on Bravo
Tamar & Vince, Returns late 2013 on WEtv
Totally T-Boz!, Premieres Jan. 1 on TLC