Season 4 of MTV's The Hills started this month, and picked up where it left off in May--hypnotizing a huge viewership with inane content and massaging those eyeballs with advertising--lots of it. The premier reached 3.48 million viewers, not counting those watching streaming video on MTV. com. (For your reference, the NFL preseason game on ESPN attracted the same size audience). The half hour premiere included an 8-minute block of advertising in addition to the traditional advertising slots. With TIVO, it's arguably the shortest 30-minute show in television history.
If you're not among the 4 million or so people who watch the Hills each week, let me give you a rundown (it shouldn't take long). The reality show follows a group of overprivileged twenty somethings around LA as they navigate life's biggest challenges (entry level jobs, shortlived relationships, backstabbing friends, and getting free bottle service at LA's top clubs). Many find it hard to buy into the "reality" of it all, as the show's characters routinely find themselves in "spontaneous" encounters with their enemies.
Why do we watch this show? For those looking for new options, Date My Ex is in the competing time slot on Bravo.
The Hills Draws Demos as MTV Tries Out Mega Pod [Mediaweek.com]