Alas, the complete opposite happened, and reality TV muscled it's way onto the majority of both network and cable programming schedules.
But that doesn't mean it's gotten any more legitimate over time.
The show also made adjustments to become more transparent to viewers.
In 2009, the teenage pregnancy rate in the United States dropped to its lowest levels in 70 years.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy released a survey in 2010, in which 87 percent of teens who had watched MTV's "16 and Pregnant" felt the show educated them about becoming a parent at such a young age.
In fact, there was a spike in people seeking plastic surgery every time the show aired.
Although hoarders have been around for centuries, shows such as "Hoarders" and "Hoarding: Buried Alive" have increased public awareness about a serious mental health issue [source: Pina] "Extreme Makeover" was once criticized for making plastic surgery seem risk-free.
A good deal of what is on TV can be very useful to the viewer.