Reality TV has always been the guidebook for this presidency. And most popular series last for six seasons.

By Amy Chozick

Ms. Chozick is a writer at large for The Times covering business, politics and media.

 

 

When Mike Fleiss, the creator of “The Bachelor” and “Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?” helped pioneer reality television in the early 2000s, he quickly realized that for any show to work, the audience needed to feel invested. “Whenever you’re developing one of these shows, you have to find stakes — true love or a million dollars,” Mr. Fleiss said.

These days, Mr. Fleiss does what American TV viewers are doing in record numbers — he sits glued to cable news, watching a panel of experts discuss the latest developments in the sprawling, intricate, unpredictable 24/7 show that is Donald Trump’s presidency. “This is the future of the world and the safety of mankind and the health of the planet,” Mr. Fleiss told me. He paused. “I should’ve thought of that one.”

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