MEDIA
03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Reality Shows Breakout Hits For Networks During Strike Crunch

The striking members of the Writers Guild of America may have hoped that television viewers, upset that their favorite dramas and comedies had gone dark, would disdain the chief alternative the broadcast networks had to offer: reality shows.

If they did, the results from the last two weeks have offered cold comfort.

For the moment at least, the antistrike strategy of replacing scripted entertainment with so-called reality series seems inspired. One new NBC reality entry, "American Gladiators," has the look of an out-of-the-gate hit, something no new scripted show this season has been able to claim.

Other, established reality series, including NBC's "The Biggest Loser" and "The Apprentice," and ABC's "Supernanny" and "Wife Swap," have returned to the air impressively.

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