Much like Regular TV, the Spinoff is a Reality TV Staple

reality tv spinoffSpinoffs in reality television

Reality television has been innovative and entertaining over the years, but the genre has also developed some habits. One of them is a tendency to indulge in spinoffs. If you’re starring in a reality TV program, there’s a chance you too could end up starring in a spinoff series. 

Popular unscripted shows are often followed by spinoff programs. For example, Flavor Flav, Paul DelVecchio and Khloe Kardashian all ended up with their own reality TV shows following stints with other hit programs. However, DelVecchio, or more famously known as “Pauly D”, was the only one of those three to not be a known quantity beforehand. What they share in common, however, is the spinoff. Each of them was able to leverage stardom in bids to land their own TV shows. 

A long history of spinning off ideas 

When it comes to TV, people love known quantities. If the fan base is already large enough, there’s a good chance a deal will go through and a spinoff show will start shooting. Reality TV participants who are able to make a name for themselves often end up with their own programs. Typically, these opportunities come through connections within the network that airs the show or company that produces it.

For example, two participants in ABC’s staple reality program “The Bachelor” will receive their own spinoff, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  Ben Higgins and fiancée Lauren Bushnell will star in “Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After,” a program green lit by ABC’s sister network, Freeform. This will be the show’s fourth spinoff after “The Bachelorette,” “Bachelor in Paradise” and “Bachelor Pad.” Higgins recently tweeted about the upcoming TV show.

E! has it’s own reality TV titan with “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” as well as a series of spinoffs, all kept in-house like ABC’s “Bachelor” and it’s related properties. The latest, “Rob & Chyna ,” will focus on Rob Kardashian and his fiancée, Blac Chyna, Yahoo reported. 

Getting your own spinoff 

If you’re interested in a spinoff series, start talking to people within the network. If you poke around outside companies, you could violate a provision of your contract. Demonstrate the size of your fan base and determine how the network can leverage that with a spinoff. This can be an opportunity to market your brand, improve the network’s viewership and extend your career beyond the run of the original program. 

It would also help to hire an entertainment law attorney who can go through your contract in search of language that could help or hurt your bid for a new program. In addition, legal counsel can help you work out a deal for your spinoff program when the time comes. 

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Anthony R. Caruso is a business transactional attorney in New York and New Jersey with experience in structuring, negotiation and completion of legal deals involving business, entrepreneurs, athletes and performers.

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