Corrects in 12th paragraph the name of Brent Ridge's company. The name of the company is Beekman Media, not Beekman 1802, which is a subsidiary.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The party may be over for broadcast networks that rely on low-cost reality TV programming to bolster their quarterly earnings reports.
Amazon (AMZN) will no longer air Viacom's (VIAB) Teen Moms and Mob Wives on its Instant Video platform, Bloomberg reported last week, adding that other reality shows may also be cut from the online retailer's streaming platform.
To make clear that reality TV's popularity is waning, FOX said it plans to cancel American Idol in 2016 -- not exactly unexpected news, but notable in the "how the mighty can fall" category. Idol was a ratings behemoth, regularly soaring past the 30 million-viewer mark while establishing a model for the entire genre.
The announcement of Idol's demise comes as other recent reality show have been canceled: The X-Factor and 21st Century Fox's (FOXA) spectacular $50 million flop Utopia. Even the old standby, Dancing With the Stars, from Disney's (DIS) ABC couldn't deliver when it returned to the airwaves this spring; its ratings have suffered a double-digit decline.
"Reality TV is on the decline right now, certainly," said Deana Myers, a media analyst at SNL Kagan, an industry monitoring group. "But there always needs to be the shiny object that folks are staring at. Right now, it's scripted TV."