It looks like there's more in store for women in the world of reality television. Jodi Flynn, the woman behind Hoarders, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and Pawn Stars is starting her own production company called Outpost Entertainment. Say whaaaaaaaaaat!? That’s right, we’ve got a woman at the helm of a major production company whose work has spanned Bravo, History, and A&E networks. Well isn’t that some outright OUTSTANDING NEWS.
Flynn shared with The Hollywood Reporter that Outpost will use a "60/40 model... [with the aim to create] highly entertaining series that appeal to both women and men, with the scales tipping slightly toward one demo or the other, depending on the show." The 60/40 model feels like a smart choice considering you know, it’s a little more in line with the United State’s population ratio.
Flynn also noted, "We’re able to hit the ground running and deliver to many different networks standout programming that satisfies a variety of audience tastes and interests. For me, it’s a match made in heaven.” Considering the depth of Flynn’s experience and variety of programming she’s produced, it sure does sound like a match made in heaven for a lot of us.
I’m thrilled to see such a respected woman in the industry at the head of a new production company. Though most reality TV that is female-centric tends to lean towards the fashion/glitzy/baby/wedding side of the spectrum, there is so much more out there to redefine “women’s interests.”
Here are some fresh ideas and reconstructions of old ideas that I’d love to see in the world of women’s reality TV:
We Need to See More Women in Uniform
There is a lot happening for the brave women who serve in the United States military. There has been recent controversy surrounding an internal Army email suggesting there need to be more “average looking” women in their ads. Because you know, beautiful women aren’t strong and brave? Wrong! The first team of females to complete the Marine Corps infantry training snapped a picture in retaliation and the results speak for themselves. We’re also looking at the first group of women to complete Navy Seal training possibly as soon as 2016. There has also been a terrifying and sharp increase of sexual assault and abuse in the military and we need to bring attention to these issues. Because not all reality TV is for makeovers and Housewives.
Sure Rachael Ray and Samantha Brown have hosted travel shows, but the travel adventure genre is so completely male-dominated it’s almost comical (except it’s not funny and is actually annoying). The Esquire Network, Travel Channel, and Discovery Channel are basically like “LOL WOMEN” with their programming and host selection. I’d love to see an adventure travel show hosted by a female jet-setter-chef-actor-comedian-author-and-everything-in-between. And no, every episode won’t be dedicated to “Shabby Chic B&B’s Around the Globe.” Let’s think a little bigger here and have some women show us the best places to mountain climb, dance in a weird Eastern European cave/disco, eat unnameable things, and meet some real characters along the way.
I know the old adage is along the lines of WOMEN AND CHOCOLATE AMIRIGHT? And sure it’s been proven time and time again that chocolate can actually make you feel better... but let’s move on from the relationship women have with chocolate and dive a little deeper into the relationship of women and CHEESE. Not only is there a growing number of female artisan cheesemakers in America, there are hundreds of thousands of us who would happily watch hours of the creamy gift of the gods from the udder to the cracker. Keep your Brew Dogs, Esquire, we’ll have our Curd Masters.
Leave Us Laughing
Chelsea Handler and Kathy Griffin have sort of cornered the market on female-driven comedy reality TV. Which is still a very, very small market and there’s plenty of room for growth. My suggestion have a little more diversity: make a show based on the women of the Upright Citizens Brigade improv team Doppelganger. The trio is composed of New York comedians Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata and Keisha Zollar and they are consistently hilarious and a total pleasure to be in a room with. I have no doubt they’d be a smash hit on television.
Images: DangShesRambo/Instagram, DoppelgangerComedy/Tumblr