The Unscripted vs. Scripted TV/Films Branding Debate

Last week I read an article about Jennifer Lopez dropping out of the film, 33, in order to return to American Idol. When I read that I was so disappointed, for several reasons.

  1. Jennifer should have passed on Idol in order to be a part of a film like 33. Her career as an actress can benefit from a raw, dramatic film like that. She’s known for her ‘Romantic-Comedies’ but she shines in films like; Selena, El Cantante and Enough. 
  2. From a branding perspective; wouldn’t it be wiser to have your name attached to a film instead of a reality competition show that’s on the decline. Plus, she’s returning –  I still don’t understand why.
  3. American Idol worked wonders for her career the first time around. It got the world talking about her again, it bumped up her music career and going back runs the risk of not delivering any results. She had the lead female role in the film, but instead will be sitting behind the judges table. The world knows Jennifer as an entertainer and I want to see her entertain us in Film and music, not judging others.

Then later in the week and update to the post read; Jennifer Lopez is in fact not turning down her role in the film 33 because of Idol, but instead of a scheduling conflict with another film. This may be true, but I’m hoping that this other film is equally as dramatic as 33 and not a Romantic Comedy. 

This Jennifer Lopez career choice or scheduling conflict, leads me to question can reality tv ruin a career and brand or can it only help? In the case of Jennifer Lopez, American Idol will probably help her career again, but being attached to a film like 33 would give her more credibility as an actress. Hopefully this is her last time on the show because I would hate to see her become so associated with being an Idol judge that the world can’t see her as an actress. 

If a person or business that doesn’t already have a high-profile career like Ms. Lopez, then a reality show has the potential to propel a career like it did for Lauren Conrad, The Kardashians, Welcome to Sweetie Pies, Tamar Braxton and La La Anthony. Then there are cases that reality tv has ruined not only careers, but lives and relationships. 

Since reality television is just as popular as scripted shows, many people turn to them to advance their careers and business. It’s true, that when done right a career can be boosted in the right direction with a great reality show. Keep in mind that if you start off in a career in reality tv, then that will follow you for the rest of your life. That sets the precedent of what your career will be based on. So, if you have an opportunity to do reality tv really think about it before you sign on the dotted line. Weigh the pro’s and cons and really map out what you want for your career. 

Overall, doing reality tv can be great for a brand. It gives a brand the opportunity to reach a wider audience and can raise awareness for it participants projects and businesses. Yet, if a person goes on a reality show and acts bad then the audience will not take that person seriously and will only want to judge that person. Then those who act bad on reality tv will either have to disappear or work overtime in order to rehab their images. 

Use a reality tv show as a tool, but be sure to USE IT and NOT HAVE IT USE YOU. It’s important to stay in control and set your intentions on doing the reality show before agreeing to do it. If there is no clear reason for doing it, then you probably shouldn’t In the end.

When you have to make a choice between reality television or a reputable scripted show/film, please take the scripted role instead of being another reality show star (unless there’s a way to do both that are in alignment with your intentions and goals.)

What do you think of the Reality Show vs. Scripted TV/Films debate?



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