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'Bachelor' creator's big deal proves reality TV alive and well (and sick?)

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Mikefleiss_l Mike Fleiss, creator of The Bachelor, has signed an exclusive eight-figure development deal with Warner Bros. TV, Variety reports. “Despite the hard times in our business, you know the kind of shows we produce will continue to be produced,” he said. He’s right, of course. For better or worse, networks and production companies needing to cut costs will turn to reality TV, which is cheaper to produce than scripted series that require stars with talent (who like to be paid for it), a writers room, elaborate sets, and non-surgical special effects done post-production. Even though I’m someone who doesn’t categorically dislike reality TV — I’d rather watch a good or “good” reality show than a bad sitcom or drama, and I’m just as giddy as Fleiss is when an ambulance makes an appearance on The Bachelor — his statement did make me think a certain slope is about to get even slippier.After the jump, a few of the shows Fleiss has in development. Which will you watch?

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According to Variety, Fleiss has eight projects cooking at various networks (including one at E! with Bachelor Matt Grant’s ex Shayne Lamas that I refuse to acknowledge further). A sample:• CBS’ There Goes the Neighborhood, described as “a reality/competition skein in which families vie with their neighbors for a large prize.” Sounds kinda boring, since presumably, the resentment won’t really kick in until after the cameras have stopped rolling. On a scale of 1 to 10, the likelihood I’ll tune in: 2.• The CW’s Hitched or Ditched, described as “a relationship skein … that follows couples as they go through the motions of planning their wedding — and then decide whether to say ‘I do’ for real.” This is hands-down a 10. Wedding planning = drama. And “love” is, after all, Fleiss’ area of expertise.• TV Land’s The Cougar, described as “a dating show in which young men compete for the love of an older woman.” Tough call, here. I did watch every episode of NBC’s Age of Love and recently rave about Lifetime’s Flirting With Forty, but the use of the word cougar could be a deal-breaker… Me tuning in for the premiere: 10. Me making it past that: 3.• ABC’s 13th season of The Bachelor (premieres Jan. 5), featuring single dad Jason Mesnick, who’s already announced he’s engaged. Me watching: 10. Me believing his engagement will last longer than DeAnna’s and Jesse’s did: 5. (My hope that it does for Jason’s and his three-year-old son’s sake: 11.)Your turn.More on Reality TV:PopWatch’s latest Bachelor postsMeet the man behind The Bachelor18 Shameless Reality TV Stars25 Risk-Filled Reality TV Shows20 Abrupt Reality TV Farewells

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