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Bloomberg Businessweek: Jeremy Gutsche on Shock Reality and Discovery Channel's Risky Business

— April 17, 2013 — About
It's no secret that controversy sells; however, up until this point, dicey topics have been kept to a minimum on daytime television. The Discovery Channel is looking to break this boundary with two new series, aptly titled 'Naked Castaway' and 'Naked and Afraid,' that not only include nudity, but make it a plot focus. Our Chief Trend Hunter and innovation keynote speaker Jeremy Gutsche met with Bloomberg Businessweek's Eric Spitznagel to discuss shock-based programming and its implications in pop culture.

Gutsche believes this move toward more controversial programming is Discovery Channel's way of luring in a larger audience. He states, "[Today's culture is] a media-cluttered culture, and there are just too many options. Nude contestants is definitely a way to stand out." This thought rings true even before either show's actual release, with such media authorities as Robert Galinsky, founder of the New York Reality TV School, sharing thoughts on the controversy. Though many see this risky move as a simple eyeball-grabbing strategy, some see nudity-based programming as a step towards a more raw, genuine form of entertainment.

Read the Full Article at Bloomberg Businessweek



Discovery Channel Doubles Down on Nudity-Based Programming


BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK
By: Eric Spitznagel

Nancy Daniels, Discovery Channel’s executive vice president of production and development, won’t say whether the network is trying to corner the market on nudist television. “Both shows came to us via very different routes,” she says, “and they both represent the ultimate in survival challenges. With the word ‘naked’ in the title, there is obvious immediate interest.” But it’s not just the suggestive titles that could potentially lure viewers. “Seeing other people naked is one of our basic needs and instincts,” says Robert Galinsky, founder of the New York Reality TV School. “They’re taking the reality show premise and stripping it down to the bare essentials, pun intended.”

Trend expert Jeremy Gutsche says Discovery is trying to distinguish itself in a crowded field. “One of the problems that all networks are facing right now is finding ways to attract younger viewers,” he says. “It’s a media-cluttered culture, and there are just too many options. Nude contestants is definitely a way to stand out.”
Trend Themes
1. Controversial Programming - The trend of pushing boundaries and including provocative content in television programming presents opportunities for disruptive innovation in entertainment and media industries.
2. Raw Entertainment - The trend towards more raw and genuine forms of entertainment, like nudity-based programming, creates opportunities for disruptive innovation in the entertainment industry.
3. Attracting Younger Viewers - The challenge of attracting younger viewers in a media-cluttered culture presents opportunities for disruptive innovation in the television industry.
Industry Implications
1. Entertainment - The entertainment industry can capitalize on the trend of controversial programming by developing new and boundary-pushing content that appeals to a wide audience.
2. Media - The media industry can explore the trend of raw entertainment by creating platforms and channels that offer more authentic and unfiltered content.
3. Television - The television industry can address the challenge of attracting younger viewers by experimenting with new formats and programming strategies that stand out in a crowded media landscape.
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