ABC reality exit Lisa Berger out after ‘Rising Star’ fiasco; were ‘The Quest,’ ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ winners?

It could happen -We don’t always cover the executive shake-ups at major networks, but this one was particularly interesting to us, mostly due to the fact that it all happened within the span of just over a year.

After a string of reality TV disappointments at ABC, including “The Glass House” and the brilliant / underrated “Whodunnit,” John Saade was replaced by former E! exec Lisa Berger, who certainly made a few bold attempts at shaking things up. She can at least attest to one victory, as “Bachelor in Paradise” managed to earn a second-season renewal after getting some of the best ratings for any new show this past summer. (There is a “Shake Tank” spin-off coming that was developed under her, but it’s too early to tell how it will fare.)

There were some notable disappointments that also clouded her time at ABC, and they may be why she is now departing the position. “The Quest” was her “Whodunnit” in a way, given that it was a ridiculously fun summer show that probably did not have the right promotion that it needed. It was a commercial disappointment, but we wouldn’t call it a complete flop. At least people liked it.

The biggest bomb was “Rising Star,” which next to “Utopia” is the biggest reality bust we’ve had in a long time. You had some reasonably-famous judges, a famous host in Josh Groban, and a format that worked well in some other countries around the globe. However, here the ¬†show drew little attention, was mostly disliked by viewers, and was a money vacuum. In the end, it was further proof that you cannot just throw money at a singing show and hope for ratings.

What this ultimately shows us further is how rough it is right now for network reality TV. Save for the “Rising Star” fiasco, and maybe a move to not order more “Whodunnit,” Berger had some ideas. Doing another “Bachelor” spin-off was smart, and she at least recognized that “The Quest” was worth getting on the air. Sooner or later, a risk at one of these networks will pay off … at least if networks continue to try them.

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