Mike Fleiss Reveals the Reality of Reality TV and What’s Next

In the world of television, where scripted dramas and sitcoms once reigned supreme, reality TV has carved out its own indelible niche, captivating audiences with its blend of raw emotion and unscripted drama. At the forefront of this revolution is Mike Fleiss, a name synonymous with some of the most successful unscripted shows ever to air.

“I like high concepts,” Mike Fleiss says, reflecting on his approach to nonfiction programming.

This penchant for high concepts has been a driving force behind his success. In a genre where authenticity and spontaneity are vital, Fleiss’ ability to infuse innovative ideas has continually set his creations apart, making them not just must-see TV, but also cultural phenomena.

However, the journey from concept to screen isn’t without its impediments. Fleiss elaborates on the precarious nature of pitching ideas. “It’s tricky because, I mean, you’ve got to find somebody who can help you move it along that isn’t going to steal it from you. That’s the trick,” he explains.

While anyone may have a stellar concept for a program, the road to drafting a treatment, pitching it, and actually selling it is much more challenging.

There’s a significant hurdle in the reality TV landscape: the protection of a concept. Unlike written narratives, where detailed scripts offer a layer of security, reality TV pitches are often broad and thus vulnerable to intellectual theft.

“A script has so many details that it’s protectable. A reality show usually just has sort of broad strokes to it. Find somebody who can shepherd your idea through the maze to ultimately get to a buyer,” Fleiss says.

Navigating this requires not just creativity, but also strategic acumen and trust. The key, according to Fleiss, lies in finding the right collaborator — someone who can guide your concept to fruition without claiming it as their own. This delicate balance of collaboration and protection is what turns a fledgling idea into the next big hit.

Looking ahead, Mike Fleiss is optimistic about the future of reality TV. With technology evolving and viewer preferences shifting, there’s a constant demand for fresh, engaging content. Fleiss’ vision includes leveraging these changes to introduce even more innovative concepts.

His track record suggests that whatever he brings to the table will likely redefine the genre once again. Just don’t expect any of his future content to incorporate artificial intelligence. He’s not a fan and feels it hinders any true genius from emerging.

“In a world where people don’t accept excellence, they don’t even recognize excellence, in filmmaking or television or journalism,” Fleiss shares. “Mediocrity is the new excellence so AI is totally geared up for that.”

It’s something Mike Fleiss finds concerning.

“That stuff’s never going to have genius in it, though; it’s never going to have brilliance,” he concludes. “But people seem to be OK with that now, and that’s another part of the problem.”

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.