Over the course of 16 seasons, The Ultimate Fighter was filmed like a reality show.
For those of you who don't know all that much about film, here's an explanation: The cameras shot the action at 30 frames per second, giving it the same look as every other reality show in the world. The interviews, the fights and the action in the house, it was all the same, season after season. The only things different in each season were the fighters, the coaches and the house.
This season, the production crew went with 24 frames per second, the same rate used to film movies and most non-reality television shows. It makes The Ultimate Fighter feel more like the much-heralded UFC Primetime series, which is a huge step up in terms of quality.
Not only that, but there are new, smaller features. The interviews are shot using a ring light, which you can see reflected in the fighter's eyes. Only it's not a ring light; a production team member told me that it's actually an Octagon light that was specially constructed for this show.
Overall, the production quality is much higher than in seasons past. And while that alone won't keep viewers tuning in, it certainly doesn't hurt to put your best-looking product in front of them.