Paris Hilton often calls Las Vegas her partying home. Now that lifestyle may become even more of a regular reality, albeit more austere, as season two of her reality TV show “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF” faces the grim reality of diminished glamour brought on by economic facts of life.
Contestants of the show have to face the realities of living in a mansion that costs half as much as the home of the show that was rented last season. If that’s not enough indignity to suffer, trips to New York and Tokyo are out this year, as the show’s production budget has been cut by 10 percent.
With the recession continuing to eat into advertising revenue at TV networks, a popular solution has emerged – even cheaper reality TV. This after reality shows already were TV’s low-budget alternative, costing about $950,000 per episode, versus $1.7 million for a scripted drama.
MTV, which plans to air the new Hilton show this summer, is filling more air time with new reality series rather than reruns, but, even so, its programming costs are down 17 percent per half hour, said Tony DiSanto, head of programming at the channel.