Where's the originality in reality TV?

NBC's "Fashion Star," hosted by Elle Macpherson, is hardly breaking new ground.

Story highlights

  • Marketed as "the future of fashion design shows," "Fashion Star" premiered Tuesday
  • If "Project Runway" and "Shark Tank" were one show, it would be called "Fashion Star"
  • Source: There are so many shows, it's hard to come up with a completely new concept
Whether you're into fashion design, the culinary arts or watching famous pop stars make and break the dreams of hopeful singers, reality programming offers something for everyone.
But if the multiple series dedicated to families with up to 19 kids (and counting) have taught us anything, it's that we're fresh out of original content.
Marketed as "the future of fashion design shows," NBC's "Fashion Star" premiered Tuesday. And despite mixed reviews, the Elle Macpherson-hosted show manages an innovative feel by borrowing bits and pieces from existing series.
In other words, if "Project Runway" and "Shark Tank" were one show, that show would be called "Fashion Star."
"In 2012, there are so many channels and reality shows out there, it's hard to come up with a concept where everything is completely new," said Steve Carbone of RealitySteve.com.
On the new NBC series, aspiring designers try to sell their fashions to retailers, just like entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to potential investors on ABC's "Shark Tank." Similarly, the network's other brainchild, "The Voice," found success by adding rotating chairs and teams to "American Idol's" winning formula. (The model originated in the Netherlands as "The Voice of Holland" in 2010.)
"Let's face it," Carbone said, "after the judges turn their chairs around, 'The Voice' becomes 'The X Factor.' Each judge has a team. Each team competes every week. Someone gets eliminated. ... It comes down to which personalities you like better."
Based on "The X Factor's" recent shake-up -- judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones all got t