A interesting article from TheWrap.com.
For one thing, audiences tend to lean toward escapist fare in uncertain times -- which might go a long way in explaining the recent popularity of reality fare such as "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," with the oh-so-glamorous-but-why-are they-famous adventures of Kim Kardashian and her siblings, and the striving opulence of the "Real Housewives" franchise.
Of course, there have been a number of reality series that broach the topic of poverty and the challenges facing the lower-income spectrum -- hard luck stories on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" spring to mind.
Even Bravo's "Million Dollar Listing" morphed from a series about real-estate agents raking in big bucks from selling extravagant Malibu and Hollywood homes to a reflection on the lousy housing market; sellers are cautioned that they should expect to get a lot less than they were hoping for.
Cable outlets appear to be ahead of the networks in acknowledging the economic downturn -- perhaps ironically, since cable TV is one of the luxuries that people are increasingly finding themselves unable to afford.