Reality television

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jump to: navigation, search

Reality television is a genre of television programming that documents unscripted situations and actual occurrences, and often features a previously unknown cast. The genre often highlights personal drama and conflict to a much greater extent than other unscripted television such as documentary shows. The genre has various standard tropes, such as reality TV confessionals used by cast members to express their thoughts, which often double as the shows' narration. In competition-based reality shows, a notable subset, there are other common elements such as one participant being eliminated per episode, a panel of judges, and the concept of immunity from elimination.

The genre began in earnest in the early to mid-1990s with The Real World. It then exploded as a phenomenon in the late 1990s and early 2000s with the global success of the series Survivor and Big Brother.[1] These shows and a number of others (usually also competition-based) became global franchises, spawning local versions in dozens of countries. Reality television as a whole has become a fixture of television programming. In the United States, various channels have retooled themselves to focus on reality TV, most famously MTV, which began in the 1980s as a music video pioneer, before switching to a nearly all-reality format in the early 2000s.

There are grey areas around what is classified as reality television. Documentaries, television news, sports television, talk shows and traditional game shows are not classified as reality television, even though they contain elements of reality television, such as unscripted situations and sometimes unknown participants. Other genres that predate the reality television boom have sometimes been retroactively grouped into reality TV, including hidden camera shows such as Candid Camera (1948), talent-search shows such as The Original Amateur Hour (1948), documentary series about ordinary people such as the Up Series (1964), high-concept game shows such as The Dating Game (1965), home improvement shows such as This Old House (1979) and court shows featuring real-life cases such as The People's Court (1981).

Reality television has faced significant criticism since its rise in popularity. Much of the criticism has centered around the use of the word "reality", and such shows' attempt to present themselves as a straightforward recounting of events that have occurred. Critics have argued that reality television shows do not present reality in ways both implicit (participants being placed in artificial situations) and deceptive or even fraudulent, such as misleading editing, participants being coached in what to say or how to behave, storylines generated ahead of time, and scenes being staged or re-staged for the cameras. Other criticisms of reality television shows include that they are intended to humiliate or exploit participants (particularly on competition shows), that they make celebrities out of untalented people who do not deserve fame, and that they glamorize vulgarity and materialism.


TV formats portraying ordinary people in unscripted situations are almost as old as TV itself. Producer-host Allen Funt's Candid Camera, in which unsuspecting people were confronted with funny, unusual situations and filmed with a hidden camera, first aired in 1948, and is often seen as a prototype of reality TV programming.[2][3]


Precedents for television that portrayed people in unscripted situations began in the late 1940s. Queen for a Day (1945-1964) was an early example of reality-based television. The 1946 television game show Cash and Carry sometimes featured contestants performing stunts. Debuting in 1948, Allen Funt's hidden camera Candid Camera show (based on his previous 1947 radio show, Candid Microphone) broadcast unsuspecting ordinary people reacting to pranks.[4] In 1948, talent search shows Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour and Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts featured amateur competitors and audience voting.

In the 1950s, game shows Beat the Clock and Truth or Consequences involved contestants in wacky competitions, stunts, and practical jokes. Confession was a crime/police show which aired from June 1958 to January 1959, with interviewer Jack Wyatt questioning criminals from assorted backgrounds.[5]

The radio series Nightwatch (1951–1955) tape-recorded the daily activities of Culver City, California police officers. The series You Asked for It (1950–1959) incorporated audience involvement by basing episodes around requests sent in by postcard from viewers.


First broadcast in the United Kingdom in 1964, the Granada Television television documentary Seven Up!, broadcast interviews with a dozen ordinary seven-year-olds from a broad cross section of society and inquired about their reactions to everyday life. Every seven years, a film documented the life of the same individuals during the intervening period, titled the Up Series, episodes include "7 Plus Seven", "21 Up", etc. (It is still ongoing.) The series was structured as a series of interviews with no element of plot. However, it did have the then-new effect of turning ordinary people into celebrities.

The first reality show in the modern sense may have been the American Broadcasting Company series The American Sportsman, which ran from 1965 to 1986.[6][7] A typical episode featured one or more celebrities, and sometimes their family members, being accompanied by a camera crew on an outdoor adventure, such as hunting, fishing, hiking, scuba diving, rock climbing, wildlife photography, horseback riding, race car driving, and the like, with most of the resulting action and dialogue being unscripted, except for the narration.

In the 1966 Direct Cinema film Chelsea Girls, Andy Warhol filmed various acquaintances with no direction given; the Radio Times Guide to Film 2007 stated that the film was "to blame for reality television".[8]

The 12-part 1973 PBS series An American Family showed a nuclear family (filmed in 1971) going through a divorce; unlike many later reality shows, it was more or less documentary in purpose and style. In 1974 a counterpart program, The Family, was made in the UK, following the working class Wilkins family of Reading.[9] Other forerunners of modern reality television were the 1970s productions of Chuck Barris: The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and The Gong Show, all of which featured participants who were eager to sacrifice some of their privacy and dignity in a televised competition.[10] In 1978, Living in the Past recreated life in an Iron Age English village.


Producer George Schlatter capitalized on the advent of videotape to create Real People, a surprise hit for NBC which ran from 1979 to 1984. The success of Real People was quickly copied by ABC with That's Incredible, a stunt show co-hosted by Fran Tarkenton.

Canadian TV ran Thrill of a Lifetime, a fantasies-fulfilled reality show from 1982 to 1988 which was revived in 2001-03.

In 1985, underwater cinematographer Al Giddings teamed with former Miss America Shawn Weatherly on the NBC series Oceanquest. Oceanquest chronicled Weatherly's adventures scuba diving in various exotic locales. Weatherly was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in informational programming.[11]

COPS, which first aired in the spring of 1989 and came about partly due to the need for new programming during the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike,[12] showed police officers on duty apprehending criminals; it introduced the camcorder look and cinéma vérité feel of much of later reality television.

The series Nummer 28, which aired on Dutch television in 1991, originated the concept of putting strangers together in the same environment for an extended period of time and recording the drama that ensued. Nummer 28 also pioneered many of the stylistic conventions that have since become standard in reality television shows, including a heavy use of soundtrack music and the interspersing of events on screen with after-the-fact "confessionals" recorded by cast members, that serve as narration. One year later, the same concept was used by MTV in their new series The Real World and Nummer 28 creator Erik Latour has long claimed that The Real World was directly inspired by his show.[13] However, the producers of The Real World have stated that their direct inspiration was An American Family.[14]

According to television commentator Charlie Brooker, this type of reality television was enabled by the advent of computer-based non-linear editing systems for video (such as produced by Avid Technology) in 1989. These systems made it easy to quickly edit hours of video footage into a usable form, something that had been very difficult to do before. (Film, which was easy to edit, was too expensive to shoot enough hours of footage with on a regular basis).[15]

The TV show Expedition Robinson, created by TV producer Charlie Parsons, which first aired in 1997 in Sweden (and was later produced in a large number of other countries as Survivor), added to the Nummer 28/Real World template the idea of competition and elimination, in which cast members/contestants battled against each other and were removed from the show until only one winner remained. (These shows are now sometimes called elimination shows).

Changing Rooms, a TV show that began in 1996, showed couples redecorating each other's houses, and was the first[citation needed] reality show with a self-improvement or makeover theme.

The 1980s and 1990s were also a time when tabloid talk shows came to rise, many of which featured the same types of unusual or dysfunctional guests that would later become popular as cast members of reality shows.


Reality television saw an explosion of global popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with the successes of the Big Brother and Survivor/Expedition Robinson franchises.

In the United States, reality television had a temporary decline in viewership in 2001, leading some[who?] to speculate that it was a temporary fad that had run its course.[citation needed] Reality shows with low ratings included The Amazing Race (although the show has since recovered), Lost (unrelated to the better-known serial drama of the same name) and The Mole.[16]

However, this proved not to be the case. Survivor and American Idol both topped the US season-average television ratings in the 2000s: Survivor led the ratings in 2001–02, and Idol topped the ratings six consecutive years, from 2004–05 to 2009–10).

Internationally, a number of shows created in the late 1990s and 2000s have had massive global success. At least nine reality-television franchises have had over 30 international adaptations each: the singing competition franchises Idols, Star Academy and The X Factor, and other competition franchises Survivor/Expedition Robinson, Big Brother, Got Talent, Top Model, MasterChef and Dancing with the Stars. Several "reality game shows" from the same period have had even greater success, including Deal or No Deal, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Weakest Link, with over 50 international adaptions each. (All but one of these franchises, Top Model, was created by either British producers or the Dutch production company Endemol.)

In India, the show Indian Idol was the most popular television program for its first six seasons.[17]

The 2000s saw three television channels devoted exclusively to reality television: Fox Reality in the United States, which existed from 2005 to 2010, Global Reality Channel in Canada (2010–2012) and Zone Reality in the United Kingdom (2002–2009). In addition, several other cable channels, including Bravo, A&E, E!, TLC, History, VH1 and MTV, changed their programming to mostly comprise reality television during the 2000s.[18]

During the early part of the 2000s, network executives expressed concern that reality-television programming was limited in its appeal for DVD reissue and syndication. DVDs for reality shows in fact sold briskly; Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, The Amazing Race, Project Runway, and America's Next Top Model all ranked in the top DVDs sold on, and in the mid-2000s, DVDs of The Simple Life outranked scripted shows like The O.C. and Desperate Housewives. Syndication, however, has indeed proven problematic; shows such as Fear Factor, COPS and Wife Swap in which each episode is self-contained can indeed be rerun fairly easily, but usually only on cable television and/or during the daytime (COPS and America's Funniest Home Videos being exceptions). Season-long competitions such as The Amazing Race, Survivor, and America's Next Top Model generally perform more poorly and usually must be rerun in marathons to draw the necessary viewers to make it worthwhile. (Even in these cases, it is not always successful: Dancing with the Stars was picked up for a ten-season run on GSN in 2012 and was run in marathon format, but experienced very poor ratings.) Another option is to create documentaries around series including extended interviews with the participants and outtakes not seen in the original airings; the syndicated series American Idol Rewind is an example of this strategy.

COPS has had huge success in syndication, direct response sales and DVD. A FOX staple since 1989, COPS has, as of 2013, outlasted all competing scripted police shows. Another series that has seen wide success is "Cheaters", which has been running since 2000 in the US and is syndicated in over 100 countries worldwide.

In 2001, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences added the reality genre to the Emmy Awards with the category of Outstanding Reality Program. In 2003, to better differentiate between competition and informational reality programs, a second category, Outstanding Reality-Competition Program, was added. In 2008, a third category, Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program, was added.


In 2010, The Tester became the first reality television show aired over a video game console.[19]

By 2012, many of the long-running reality television show franchises in the United States, such as American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor, had begun to see declining ratings.[20] However, reality television as a whole remained highly durable in the U.S., with hundreds of shows across many channels. In 2012 New York Magazine's Vulture blog published a humorous Venn diagram showing popular themes across American reality shows then running, including shows set in the U.S. states of Alaska, Louisiana and Texas, shows about cakes, weddings and pawnbrokers, and shows, usually competition-based, whose title includes the word "Wars".[21]

The Voice, a singing competition franchise created by John de Mol that started in 2010, is the newest highly successful reality television franchise, with almost 50 international adaptations.

Duck Dynasty, a reality series featuring the Robertson family that founded Duck Commander, in 2013 became the most popular reality series in U.S. cable television history. Its fourth season premiere was viewed by nearly 12 million viewers in the United States, most of which were in rural markets; its rural audience share has ranked in the 30s, an extremely high number for any series, broadcast or cable.[22]


The genre of reality television consists of various subgenres. There are eight subgenres of reality television as proposed by Murray and Ouellette (2009).[23] These subgenres are: gamedocs, dating programs, makeover programs, docusoaps, talent contests, court programs, reality sitcoms, and celebrity variations of other programs.

Others such as Hill, Weibull, and Nilsson (2007, p. 18)[24] suggest that five subgenres or categories exist. They suggest the following: infotainment, docusoap, lifestyle, reality game shows, and lifestyle experiment programs as main categories of reality TV. Nabi et al. (2006, p. 433)[25] on the other hand, proposed a categorization based on six main topics: romance, crime, informational, reality-drama, competition/game, and talent. Similarly, Fitzgerald (2003) proposed a similar categorization focusing on talent and survival competitions, personal makeover, home makeover, get-rich-quick schemes, docudramas, and "Mr. Right" programs.[26]

Still others suggest that categorization can be determined by either narrative or performation reality.[27] Narrative reality television is based on “entertaining the viewers by an authentic or staged rendition of extraordinary, real, or close-to-reality events with non-prominent actors, whereas formats providing a stage for uncommon performances with a direct impact on the participants' lives fall into the category of performative reality TV.”[28] From the perspective of Klaus and Lucke,"docusoaps" portray people in their usual living environment and "reality soaps" bring them in a new, uncommon environment." [28]

A variety of what could be called "adventure" reality television places people in wild and challenging natural settings. The genre includes such shows as Survivorman, Man vs. Wild, Naked Castaway, Naked and Afraid, and Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls.


In many reality TV programs, camera shooting and footage editing give the viewer the impression that they are passive observers following people going about their daily personal and professional activities; this style of filming is often referred to as fly on the wall or factual television. Story "plots" are often constructed via editing or planned situations, with the results resembling soap operas—hence the terms docusoap and docudrama. Documentary style programs give viewers a private look into the lives of the subjects.

Within documentary-style reality television are several subcategories or variants:

Special living environment
Some documentary-style programs place cast members, who in most cases previously did not know each other, in artificial living environments; The Real World is the originator of this style. In almost every other such show, cast members are given specific challenges or obstacles to overcome. Road Rules, which started in 1995 as a spin-off of The Real World, started this pattern: the cast traveled across the country guided by clues and performing tasks.
Big Brother is probably the best known program of this type in the world, with around 50 international versions having been produced. Another example of a show in this category The 1900 House, involves historical re-enactment with cast members hired to live and work as people of a specific time and place. 2001's Temptation Island achieved some notoriety by placing several couples on an island surrounded by single people in order to test the couples' commitment to each other. U8TV: The Lofters combined the "special living environment" format with the "professional activity" format noted below; in addition to living together in a loft, each member of the show's cast was hired to host a television program for a Canadian cable channel.
Kim Kardashian, reality TV star.
Another subset of fly-on-the-wall-style shows involves celebrities. Often these show a celebrity going about their everyday life: notable examples include The Anna Nicole Show, The Osbournes, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Hogan Knows Best. In other shows, celebrities are put on location and given a specific task or tasks; these include Celebrity Big Brother, The Simple Life, Tommy Lee Goes to College, The Surreal Life, and I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here!. VH1 in the mid-2000s had an entire block of such shows, known as "Celebreality". Shows such as these are often created with the idea of promoting a celebrity product or upcoming project.
Professional activities
Some documentary-style shows portray professionals either going about day-to-day business or performing an entire project over the course of a series. One early example (and the longest running reality show of any genre) is COPS which has been airing since 1989.
Other examples of this type of reality show include the American shows Miami Ink, Bikini Barbershop, The First 48, Dog the Bounty Hunter, American Chopper and Deadliest Catch; the British shows Airport, Police Stop! and Traffic Cops; the Australian shows Border Security and Bondi Rescue, and the New Zealand show Motorway Patrol. The US cable networks TLC and A&E in particular show a number of this type of reality show.
VH1's 2001 show Bands on the Run was a notable early hybrid, in that the show featured four unsigned bands touring and making music as a professional activity, but also pitted the bands against one another in game show fashion to see which band could make the most money.
Some documentary-style shows shed light on cultures and lifestyles rarely seen otherwise by most of their viewers. One example is shows about people with disabilities or people who have unusual physical circumstances, such as the American TV shows Push Girls and Little People, Big World, and the British shows Beyond Boundaries, The Undateables and Seven Dwarves.
Another example is shows that portray the lives of ethnic or religious minorities. Examples include All-American Muslim (Lebanese-American Muslims), Shahs of Sunset (affluent Persian-Americans), Sister Wives (polygamists from a Mormon splinter group), Breaking Amish and Amish Mafia (the Amish), and Washington Heights (Dominican Americans).
The Real Housewives franchise offers a window into the lives of social-striving urban and suburban housewives. Many shows focus on wealth and conspicuous consumption, including Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Platinum Weddings, and My Super Sweet 16, which documented huge coming of age celebrations thrown by wealthy parents. Conversely, the highly successful Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty are set in poorer rural areas of the Southern United States.

Reality legal programming[edit]

Another subgenre of reality television is "reality legal programming." These are programs that center on real-life legal matters.

Court show

Originally, court shows were all dramatized and staged programs with actors playing the litigants, witnesses, and lawyers. The cases were either reenactments of real-life cases or altogether made up cases. Among examples of stage courtroom dramas are Famous Jury Trials, Your Witness, and the first two eras of Divorce Court. The People's Court revolutionized the genre by introducing the arbitration-based "reality" format in 1981, later adopted by the vast majority of court shows. The genre experienced a lull in programming after The People's Court was cancelled in 1993, but then soared after the emergence of Judge Judy in 1996. This led to a slew of other reality court shows appearing, such as Paternity Court, Judge Mathis, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Alex, Judge Mills Lane and Judge Hatchett.
Though the litigants are legitimate, the "judges" in such shows are actually arbitrators, as these pseudo-judges are not actually presiding in a court of law. Typically, however, they are retired judges, or at least individuals who have had some legal experience.
Courtroom programs are typically daytime television shows that air on weekdays.

Law enforcement documentaries

Another subgenre of reality legal programming are law enforcement documentaries. Law enforcement documentaries are programs that capture police officers on duty. These shows tend to be shocking in nature as they consist of individuals caught in real-life criminal acts and circumstances, as well as confrontations with police officers. The most successful installment of this subgenre is Cops.

Reality competition/game shows[edit]

See also: List of reality television game shows

Another sub-genre of reality TV is "reality competition", "reality playoffs", or so-called "reality game shows," which follow the format of non-tournament elimination contests. Typically, participants are filmed competing to win a prize, often while living together in a confined environment. In many cases, participants are removed until only one person or team remains, who/which is then declared the winner. Usually this is done by eliminating participants one at a time, through either disapproval voting or by voting for the most popular choice to win. Voting is done by the viewing audience, the show's own participants, a panel of judges, or some combination of the three.

A well-known example of a reality-competition show is the globally syndicated Big Brother, in which cast members live together in the same house, with participants removed at regular intervals by either the viewing audience or, in the case of the American version, by the participants themselves.

There remains disagreement over whether talent-search shows such as the Idol series, the Got Talent series and the Dancing with the Stars series are truly reality television, or just newer incarnations of shows such as Star Search. Although the shows involve a traditional talent search, the shows follow the reality-competition conventions of removing one or more contestants per episode and allowing the public to vote on who is removed; and the shows sometimes show unscripted moments during rehearsals. Additionally, there is a good deal of interaction shown between contestants and judges. As a result, such shows are often considered reality television. The American Primetime Emmy Awards have nominated both American Idol and Dancing with the Stars for the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program Emmy.

Game shows like Weakest Link, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, American Gladiators and Deal or No Deal, which were popular in the 2000s, also lie in a gray area: like traditional game shows (e.g., The Price Is Right, Jeopardy!), the action takes place in an enclosed TV studio over a short period of time; however, they have higher production values, more dramatic background music, and higher stakes than traditional shows (done either through putting contestants into physical danger or offering large cash prizes). In addition, there is more interaction between contestants and hosts, and in some cases they feature reality-style contestant competition and/or elimination as well. These factors, as well as these shows' rise in global popularity at the same time as the arrival of the reality craze, lead many people to group them under both the reality TV umbrella and the traditional game show one.[29]

There have been various hybrid reality-competition shows, like the worldwide-syndicated Star Academy, which combines the Big Brother and Idol formats, The Biggest Loser and The Pick-up Artist which combine competition with the self-improvement format, and American Inventor, which uses the Idol format for products instead of people. Some shows, such as Popstars, Making the Band and Project Greenlight, devote the first part of the season to selecting a winner, and the second part to showing that person or group of people working on a project.

Popular variants of the competition-based format include the following:

Dating-based competition
Dating-based competition shows follow a contestant choosing one out of a group of suitors. Over the course of either a single episode or an entire season, suitors are eliminated until only the contestant and the final suitor remains. In the early 2000s, this type of reality show dominated the other genres on the major US networks. Shows that aired included The Bachelor, its spin-off The Bachelorette, as well as Temptation Island and Average Joe. In Married by America, contestants were chosen by viewer voting. More recent such shows include Flavor of Love (a dating show featuring rapper Flavor Flav that led directly and indirectly to over 10 spinoffs), The Cougar, and Love in the Wild. This is one of the older variants of the format; shows such as The Dating Game that date to the 1960s had similar premises (though each episode was self-contained, and not the serial format of more modern shows).
Job search
In this category, the competition revolves around a skill that contestants were pre-screened for. Competitors perform a variety of tasks based on that skill, are judged, and are then kept or removed by a single expert or a panel of experts. The show is usually presented as a job search of some kind, in which the prize for the winner includes a contract to perform that kind of work and an undisclosed salary, although the award can simply be a sum of money and ancillary prizes, like a cover article in a magazine. The show also features judges who act as counselors, mediators and sometimes mentors to help contestants develop their skills further or perhaps decide their future position in the competition. Popstars, which debuted in 1999, may have been the first such show, while the Idol series has been longest-running and most popular such franchise. The first job-search show which showed dramatic, unscripted situations may have been America's Next Top Model, which premiered in May 2003. Other examples include The Apprentice (which judges business skills); Hell's Kitchen, MasterChef, and Top Chef (for chefs); Shear Genius (for hair styling), Project Runway (for clothing design), Top Design (for interior design), Stylista (for fashion editors), Last Comic Standing (for comedians), I Know My Kid's a Star (for child performers), On the Lot (for filmmakers), RuPaul's Drag Race (for drag queens), The Shot (for fashion photographers), So You Think You Can Dance (for dancers), MuchMusic VJ Search and Food Network Star (for television hosts), Dream Job (for sportscasters), Work of Art (for artists), Face Off (for makeup artists), Platinum Hit (for songwriters) and The Tester (for game testers).
A notable subset is shows in which the winner gets a specific part a known film, television show, musical or performing group. Examples include Scream Queens (where the prize is a role in the Saw film series), The Glee Project (for a role on the television show Glee) and Any Dream Will Do (the lead role in a revival of the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). The most extreme prize for such a show may have been for 2005's Rock Star: INXS, where the winner became the lead singer of the rock band INXS. J.D. Fortune, who won the show, went on to be INXS's lead singer until 2011.
Some shows use the same format with celebrities: in this case, there is no expectation that the winner will continue this line of work, and prize winnings often go to charity. Examples of celebrity competition programs include Deadline, Celebracadabra, and Celebrity Apprentice.
Most of these programs create a sporting competition among athletes attempting to establish their name in that sport. The Club, in 2002, was one of the first shows to immerse sport with reality TV, based on a fabricated club competing against real clubs in the sport of Australian rules football; the audience helped select which players played each week by voting for their favorites. Golf Channel's The Big Break is a reality show in which aspiring golfers compete against one another and are eliminated. The Contender, a boxing show, became the first American reality show in which a contestant committed suicide after being eliminated from the show; the show's winner was promised a shot at a boxing world championship. Sergio Mora, who won, indeed got his title shot and became a world champion boxer. On The Ultimate Fighter participants have voluntarily withdrawn or expressed the desire to withdraw from the show due to competitive pressure.
In sports shows, sometimes just appearing on the show, not necessarily winning, can get a contestant the job. The owner of UFC declared that the final match of the first season of Ultimate Fighter was so good, both contestants were offered a contract, and in addition, many non-winning "TUF Alumni" have prospered in the UFC. Many of the losers from World Wrestling Entertainment's Tough Enough and Diva Search shows have been picked up by the company.
Not all sports programs involve athletes trying to make a name in the sport. The 2006 US reality series Knight School focused on students at Texas Tech University vying for a walk-on (non-scholarship) roster position on the school's men's basketball team under legendary coach Bob Knight. In the Republic of Ireland, RTÉ One's Celebrity Bainisteoir involves eight non-sporting Irish celebrities becoming bainisteoiri (managers) of mid-level Gaelic football teams, leading their teams in an officially sanctioned tournament.


One concept pioneered by, and unique to, reality competition shows is the idea of immunity, in which a contestant can win the right to be exempt the next time contestants are eliminated from the show. This concept was conceived by Mark Burnett, the producer of the American version of Survivor, for that show's first season in 1999. On Survivor the rules around immunity are more complex than they have been on most shows since then: a player achieves immunity through finding a hidden totem, but they can keep this fact a secret from other players; they can also pass on their immunity to someone else.[30] On most shows, immunity is instead achieved by winning a task, often a relatively minor task during the first half of the episode; the announcement of immunity is made publicly and immunity is non-transferable. Competition shows that feature immunity include the Apprentice, Big Brother, Biggest Loser, Top Model and Top Chef franchises. In one Apprentice episode, a participant chose to waive his earned immunity and was immediately "fired" by Donald Trump for giving up this powerful asset.[31]


Some reality television shows cover a person or group of people improving their lives. Sometimes the same group of people are covered over an entire season (as in The Swan and Celebrity Fit Club), but usually there is a new target for improvement in each episode. Despite differences in the content, the format is usually the same: first the show introduces the subjects in their current, less-than-ideal environment. Then the subjects meet with a group of experts, who give the subjects instructions on how to improve things; they offer aid and encouragement along the way. Finally, the subjects are placed back in their environment and they, along with their friends and family and the experts, appraise the changes that have occurred. Other self-improvement or makeover shows include The Biggest Loser and Fat March, (which covers weight loss), Extreme Makeover (entire physical appearance), Queer Eye, What Not to Wear and How Do I Look? (style and grooming), Supernanny (child-rearing), Made (life transformation), Trinny & Susannah Undress and Bridalplasty (fashion and cosmetic makeover and marriage), Tool Academy (relationship building) and Charm School and From G's to Gents (self-improvement and manners). The British TV show Snog Marry Avoid?, presented by Ellie Taylor sees members of the public, who usually have a wild dress sense or wear excess make-up and 'fakery', have a makeover to make them look more 'normal' or presentable.


Some shows make over part or all of a person's living space, work space, or vehicle. The American show This Old House was the first such show,[citation needed] debuting in 1979. The British show Changing Rooms, beginning in 1996 (later remade in the US as Trading Spaces) was the first such renovation show that added a game show feel with different weekly contestants.[citation needed] Other shows in this category include Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Debbie Travis' Facelift, Designed to Sell, While You Were Out, and Holmes on Homes. Pimp My Ride and Overhaulin' show vehicles being rebuilt. Some shows, such as Restaurant Makeover and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, show both the decor and the menu of a failing restaurant being remade. The issue of "making over" was taken to its social extreme with the British show Life Laundry, in which people who had become hoarders, even living in squalor, were given professional assistance. The American television series Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive follow similar premises, presenting interventions in the lives of people who suffer from compulsive hoarding.

As with game shows, a gray area exists between such reality TV shows and more conventional formats. Some argue the key difference is the emphasis of the human story and conflicts of reality shows, versus the emphasis on process and information in more traditional format shows.[citation needed] The show This Old House, which began in 1979, the start to finish renovation of different houses through a season; media critic Jeff Jarvis has speculated that it is "the original reality TV show."[32]

Social experiment[edit]

Another type of reality program is the social experiment that produces drama, conflict, and sometimes transformation. Wife Swap which began in 2003 on Channel 4 and has aired for four seasons on ABC is a notable example. People with different values agreed to live by each other's social rules for a brief period of time and sometimes learn from the experience. Other shows in this category include Celebrity Wife Swap, Fox's Trading Spouses, ITV's Holiday Showdown, Oxygen's The Bad Girls Club, and Channel 4's Secret Millionaire. Faking It was a series where people had to learn a new skill and pass themselves off as experts in that skill. Shattered was a controversial 2004 UK series where contestants competed for how long they could go without sleep.

Hidden cameras[edit]

Another type of reality programming features hidden cameras rolling when random passers-by encounter a staged situation. Candid Camera, which first aired on television in 1948, pioneered the format. Modern variants of this type of production include Punk'd, Trigger Happy TV, Primetime: What Would You Do?, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment and Just for Laughs: Gags. The series Scare Tactics and Room 401 are hidden-camera programs in which the goal is to frighten contestants rather than just befuddle or amuse them.

Not all hidden camera shows use strictly staged situations. For example, the syndicated show Cheaters, purports to use hidden cameras to record suspected cheating partners, although the authenticity of the show has been questioned.[33] Once the evidence has been gathered, the accuser confronts the cheating partner with the assistance of the host. In many special-living documentary programs, hidden cameras are set up all over the residence in order to capture moments missed by the regular camera crew, or intimate bedroom footage.

Supernatural and paranormal[edit]

Supernatural and paranormal reality shows such as MTV's Fear, place participants into frightening situations which ostensibly involve the paranormal. In series such as Celebrity Paranormal Project, the stated aim is investigation, and some series like Scariest Places on Earth challenge participants to survive the investigation; whereas others such as Paranormal State and Ghost Hunters use a recurring crew of paranormal researchers. In general, the shows follow similar stylized patterns of night vision, surveillance, and hand held camera footage; odd angles; subtitles establishing place and time; desaturated imagery; and non-melodic soundtracks.

Noting the trend in reality shows that take the paranormal at face value, The New York Times culture editor Mike Hale[34] characterized ghost hunting shows as "pure theater" and compared the genre to professional wrestling or soft core pornography for its formulaic, teasing approach.[35]


In hoax reality shows, a false premise is presented to some of the series participants; the rest of the cast are actors who are in on the joke. These shows often served to parody the conventions of the reality TV genre. The first such show was 2003's The Joe Schmo Show. Other examples are My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss (modeled after The Apprentice), My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, Hell Date (modeled after Blind Date), Superstar USA (modeled after American Idol), Bedsitcom (modeled after Big Brother), Space Cadets (which convinced the hoax targets that they were being flown into space), Invasion Iowa (in which a town was convinced that William Shatner was filming a movie there), and Reality Hell[36] (different target and premise every episode).

Other shows, though not hoax shows per se, have offered misleading information to some cast members in order to add a wrinkle to the competition. Examples include Boy Meets Boy and Joe Millionaire.

Criticism and analysis[edit]

"Reality" as misnomer[edit]

The authenticity of reality television is often called into question by its detractors. The genre's title of "reality" is often criticized as being inaccurate because of claims that the genre frequently includes premeditated scripting; acting; urgings from behind-the-scenes crew to create specified situations of adversity and drama; misleading editing; etc.

In many cases the entire premise of the show is a contrived one, based around a competition or another unusual situation. However, various shows have additionally been accused of using fakery in order to create more compelling television, such as having premeditated storylines and in some cases feeding participants lines of dialogue, focusing only on participants' most outlandish behavior, and altering events through editing and re-shoots.[37][38]

Television shows that have been criticized for, or admitted to, deception include The Real World,[39][40][41] the U.S. Survivor,[42] Joe Millionaire,[43] The Hills, Hell's Kitchen,[44] A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila,[45] Hogan Knows Best,[46] Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,[47] The Bachelor and The Bachelorette[48][49][50][51][52][53] and Pawn Stars.[54] As of 2013, the TV series Storage Wars is the subject of a pending lawsuit,[55] and Keeping Up with the Kardashians part of a divorce deposition, both due to allegations of fraud.[56][57]

Political and cultural impact[edit]

Reality television's global successes has been, in the eyes of some analysts, an important political phenomenon. In some authoritarian countries, reality television voting has been the first time many citizens have voted in any free and fair wide-scale elections. In addition, the frankness of the settings on some reality shows present situations that are often taboo in certain orthodox cultures, like Star Academy Arab World, which began airing in 2003, and which shows male and female contestants living together.[58] A Pan-Arab version of Big Brother was cancelled in 2004 after less than two weeks on the air after a public outcry and street protests.[59] In 2004, journalist Matt Labash, noting both of these issues, wrote that "the best hope of little Americas developing in the Middle East could be Arab-produced reality TV."[60]

In 2007, Abu Dhabi TV began airing Million's Poet, a show featuring Pop Idol-style voting and elimination, but for the writing and oration of Arabic poetry. The show became popular in Arab countries, with around 18 million viewers,[61] partly because it was able to combine the excitement of reality television with a traditional, culturally relevant topic.[62] In April 2010, however, the show also become a subject of political controversy, when Hissa Hilal, a 43-year-old female Saudi competitor, read out a poem criticizing her country's Muslim clerics.[63] Hilal's poetry was well received by both critics and the public; she received the highest scores from the judges throughout the competition, and came in third place overall.[61]

In India in the summer of 2007, coverage of the third season of Indian Idol focused on the breaking down of cultural and socioeconomic barriers as the public rallied around the show's top two contestants.[17]

The Chinese singing competition Super Girl (a local imitation of Pop Idol) has similarly been cited for its political and cultural impact.[64] After the finale of the show's 2005 season drew an audience of around 400 million people, and 8 million text message votes, the state-run English-language newspaper Beijing Today ran the front-page headline "Is Super Girl a Force for Democracy?"[65] The Chinese government criticized the show, citing both its democratic nature and its excessive vulgarity, or "worldliness",[66] and in 2006 banned it outright.[67] It was later reintroduced in 2009, before being banned again in 2011. Super Girl has also been criticized by non-government commentators for creating seemingly impossible ideals that may be harmful to Chinese youth.[64]

In Indonesia, reality television shows have surpassed soap operas as the most-watched programs on the air.[68] One popular program is Jika Aku Menjadi ("If I Were"), which follows young, middle-class people as they are temporarily placed into lower-class life, where they learn to appreciate their circumstances back home by experiencing daily life for the less fortunate.[68] Critics have claimed that this and similar programs in Indonesia reinforce traditionally Western ideals of materialism and consumerism.[68] However, Eko Nugroho, reality show producer and president of Dreamlight World Media, insists that these reality shows are not promoting American lifestyles but rather reaching people through their universal desires.[68]

As a substitute for scripted drama[edit]

VH1 executive vice president Michael Hirschorn wrote that the plots and subject matters on reality television are more authentic and more engaging than in scripted dramas, writing that scripted network television "remains dominated by variants on the police procedural... in which a stock group of characters (ethnically, sexually, and generationally diverse) grapples with endless versions of the same dilemma. The episodes have all the ritual predictability of Japanese Noh theater," while reality TV is "the liveliest genre on the set right now. It has engaged hot-button cultural issues—class, sex, race—that respectable television... rarely touches."[69]

Television critic James Poniewozik wrote that reality shows like Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers showcase working-class people of the kind that "used to be routine" on scripted network television, but that became a rarity in the 2000s: "The better to woo upscale viewers, TV has evicted its mechanics and dockworkers to collect higher rents from yuppies in coffeehouses."[70] In addition to bringing in substantial revenues, such programs generally cost less to produce than scripted series.

Lighting crews are typically present in the background of reality television shows.
Sound crews are typically present in the background of reality television shows.

Instant celebrity[edit]

Reality television has the potential to turn its participants into national celebrities, at least for a short period. This is most notable in talent-search programs such as Idol and The X Factor, which have spawned music stars in many of the countries in which they have aired. Many other shows, however, have made at least temporary celebrities out of their participants; some participants have then been able to parlay this fame into media and merchandising careers. For example, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a contestant on Survivor: The Australian Outback, later became a host on morning talk show The View. Jamie Chung (from The Real World: San Diego), Kristin Cavallari (from Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County) and NeNe Leakes (from The Real Housewives of Atlanta) all have had acting careers since appearing on reality television. Several cast members of MTV's Jersey Shore have had lucrative endorsement deals, and in some cases their own product lines. Tiffany Pollard, originally a contestant on Flavor of Love, was eventually given four additional reality series of her own on VH1. In Britain, Jade Goody became famous after appearing on Big Brother 3 in 2002; she later appeared on other reality programs, wrote a bestselling autobiography and launched a top-selling perfume line. She later received extensive media coverage during her battle with cervical cancer, from which she died in 2009. Bethenny Frankel, who gained fame after appearing on several reality TV shows, launched the successful brand Skinnygirl Cocktails, and got her own talk show, Bethenny. Two castmembers of non-athletic reality shows, Mike "The Miz" Mizanin (from The Real World and its spin-off, The Challenge) and David Otunga (from I Love New York), became professional wrestlers for WWE. Some reality-television alumni have parlayed their fame into paid public appearances.[71][72] Numerous spin-offs of these shows have spawned even more celebrities; for example, I Love Money is a spin-off of Flavor of Love, Charm School, I Love New York, Rock of Love with Bret Michaels, Real Chance of Love, For the Love of Ray J, Daisy of Love and Megan Wants a Millionaire in which former contestants on these shows compete for a $250,000 grand prize.

In a rare case of a reality television alumnus succeeding in the political arena, The Real World: Boston castmember Sean Duffy is a U.S. Representative from Wisconsin.

Several socialites, or children of famous parents, who were somewhat well-known before they appeared on reality television shows have become much more famous as a result, including Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Kelly Osbourne, Kim Kardashian, and many of the rest of the Kardashian family.

Reality TV personalities are sometimes derided as "Z-list celebrities", "Bravolebrities", and/or "nonebrities" who are effectively "famous for being famous" yet have done nothing to warrant their sudden fame.[73] Some have been lampooned for exploiting an undeserved "15 minutes of fame".[74] The Kardashian family is one such group of reality television personalities who were subject to this criticism in the 2010s,[74][75] Kim Kardashian in particular.[76][77][78]

Youth audience[edit]

In 2006, four of the ten most popular programs among viewers under 17 were reality shows.[79] Studies have shown that young people emulate the behavior displayed on these programs, gathering much of their knowledge of the social world, particularly about consumer practices, from television.[64][80][81][82]

In 2007, according to the Learning and Skills Council, one in seven UK teenagers hoped to gain fame by appearing on reality television.[83]


A number of studies have tried to pinpoint the appeal of reality television.[84] Factors that have been cited in its appeal include personal identification with the onscreen participants; pure entertainment; diversion from scripted TV; vicarious participation;[85] a feeling of self-importance compared to onscreen participants;[86] enjoyment of competition;[86] and an appeal to voyeurism, especially given "scenes which take place in private settings, contain nudity, and/or include gossip".[87][88][89]

Similar works in popular culture[edit]

A number of fictional works since the 1940s have contained elements similar to elements of reality television. They tended to be set in a dystopian future, with subjects being recorded against their will, and often involved violence.

Pop culture references[edit]

Some scripted and written works have used reality television as a plot device:




Other influences on popular culture[edit]

A number of scripted television shows have taken the form of documentary-type reality TV shows, in "mockumentary" style. The first such show was the BBC series Operation Good Guys, which premiered in 1997. Other examples include The Games, People Like Us, Trailer Park Boys, The Office, Modern Family, Drawn Together, Summer Heights High, Total Drama, Parks and Recreation, Reno 911! and Come Fly With Me. The 2013 series Siberia was a rare example of a mockumentary series intended as a drama/thriller and not a comedy.

Some feature films have been produced that use some of the conventions of reality television; such films are sometimes referred to as reality films, and sometimes simply as documentaries.[94] Allen Funt's 1970 hidden camera movie What Do You Say to a Naked Lady? was based on his reality-television show Candid Camera. The TV show Jackass has spawned five films: Jackass: The Movie in 2001, Jackass: Number Two in 2006, Jackass 2.5 in late 2007, Jackass 3D in 2010 and Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa in 2013. A similar show, Extreme Duudsonit, was adapted for the film The Dudesons Movie in 2006. The producers of The Real World created The Real Cancun in 2003. Games People Play: New York was released in 2004.

In 2007, broadcaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy stated that reality television is "a firm and embedded part of television's vocabulary, used in every genre from game-shows and drama to news and current affairs."[95]

The mumblecore film genre, which began in the mid-2000s, and uses video cameras and relies heavily on improvisation and non-professional actors, has been described as influenced in part by what one critic called "the spring-break psychodrama of MTV's The Real World". Mumblecore director Joe Swanberg has said, "As annoying as reality TV is, it's been really good for filmmakers because it got mainstream audiences used to watching shaky camerawork and different kinds of situations."[96]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hill, Annette (2005). Reality TV: Audiences and Popular Factual Television. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-26152-X. 
  2. ^ Clissold, B.(2004). Candid Camera and the origins of reality TV: contextualizing a historical precedent. In Holmes, and Jermyn, D. (eds) Understanding Reality Television. London: Routledge, 33-53.
  3. ^ McCarthy, A. (2009). Stanley Milgram, Allen Funt and me: Postwar Social Science and the First Wave of Reality TV. In Ouellette, L. and Murray, S. (eds). Reality Television Culture. New York: NYU Press.
  4. ^ Rowan, Beth (July 21, 2000). "Reality TV Takes Hold". Retrieved May 8, 2007. 
  5. ^ Alex McNeil, Total Television (New York: Penguin Books, 1996), p. 178
  6. ^ " - Guest column: These new reality hunting TV shows are out of control". Retrieved October 17, 2013.  The Post-Standard newspaper, Syracuse, New York, December 21, 2012, by Tom Adessa. "As a teenager, I always looked forward to Sunday afternoons when I’d watch Curt Gowdy and his TV show, 'The American Sportsman.' Gowdy had a distinct, soft-spoken demeanor and the destinations of his hunts were in various parts of the world."
  7. ^ "'The American Sportsman' Penetrates the Awesome World of the Shark". Retrieved October 17, 2013.  The News and Courier newspaper, February 8, 1975, Charleston, South Carolina. "Peter Benchley's journey to the world of the White Shark is an evocative portrait of one of nature's extraordinary phenomena, the shark, and of one man's revealing transition from the world of fantasy to the world of underwater reality. The American Sportsman is produced and directed by Neil Cunningham and hosted by Curt Gowdy."
  8. ^ Baracaia, Alexa (October 4, 2006). "Warhol 'reality' film named in top 100". Evening Standard. 
  9. ^ Biressi, Anita (2005). Reality TV: Realism and Revelation. London: Wallflower Press. pp. 64–66. ISBN 1904764045. 
  10. ^ James, Caryn (January 26, 2003). "Bachelor No. 1 And the Birth Of Reality TV". The New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2009. 
  11. ^ Oceanquest at the Internet Movie Database
  12. ^ Peterson, Karla (November 6, 2007). "With writers on strike, expect more repeats and dose of reality". San Diego Union-Tribune. 
  13. ^ Source: Zeven werklozen samen op zoek naar een baan by Raymond van den Boogaard, NRC Handelsblad, September 28, 1996
  14. ^ Keveney, Bill (October 9, 2007). "MTV's 'Real World' launched a revolution". USA Today. 
  15. ^ "Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe - Reality TV Editing". YouTube. February 2007. 
  16. ^ Sigesmund, B. J. (October 11, 2001). Will Reality TV Survive? Newsweek. Retrieved from Lexis Nexis database.
  17. ^ a b Punathambekar, Aswin (2010). "Reality TV and Participatory Culture in India". Popular Communication 8: 241–255. doi:10.1080/15405702.2010.514177. 
  18. ^ Levin, Gary (May 8, 2007). "'Simple economics': More reality TV". USA Today. 
  19. ^ Snider, Mike (March 5, 2010). Life. "Have a PlayStation? You can watch 'The Tester' ; Reality series is available only on consoles". USA Today. p. D.12. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 
  20. ^ Molloy, Tim (March 13, 2012). Reality Ratings Slip: Aging Bachelors, Idols and Dancers Lose Their Bite. The Wrap. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  21. ^ Margaret Lyons and Jen Cotton (January 31, 2012). "See a Venn Diagram Connecting Reality-TV Shows". New York Magazine Vulture blog. 
  22. ^ Republicans fueling record Duck Dynasty ratings, urbanites tuning out. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  23. ^ Murray, S. & Ouellette, L. (2009).Reality TV: Remaking television culture. New York: New York University Press.
  24. ^ Hill, A., Weibull, L. & Nilsson, A. (2007). Public and popular: British and Swedish audience trends in factual and reality television. Cultural Trends, 16(1), p.17-41.
  25. ^ Nabi, R. Stitt, C. Halford, J. & Finnerty, K. (2006). Emotional and cognitive predictors of the enjoyment of reality based and fictional television programming: An elaboration of the uses and gratifications perspective. Media Psychology, 8, 421-447.
  26. ^ Fitgerald, K. (2003). So many realities, so few slots. Advertising Age, 74(19).
  27. ^ Klaus, E. & Lucke, S.(2003). Reality TV: Definition, Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft, 51(2), 195-212.
  28. ^ a b Klaus, E. & Lucke, S. (2003). Reality TV: Definition, Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft, 51(2),p.199.
  29. ^ "How can I audition for reality shows?". MSNBC. June 1, 2007. 
  30. ^ Matthew J. Smith, Andrew F. Wood, Survivor Lessons: Essays on Communication and Reality Television (2003), p. 33.
  31. ^ Frank J. Landy, Jeffrey M. Conte, Work in the 21st Century: An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology (2009) p. 151.
  32. ^ Jarvis, Jeff (August 6, 2005). "Tag the greatest – but not obvious – TV shows". Retrieved May 8, 2007. 
  33. ^ Nowell, Scott (October 17, 2002). "Your Cheatin' Art". HoustonPress. Retrieved April 29, 2009. 
  34. ^ "Mike Hale, Editor, The New York Times". New York Times Knowledge Network. Retrieved October 4, 2010. 
  35. ^ Hale, Mike (December 10, 2009). "Consigning Reality to Ghosts". The New York Times. Retrieved January 7, 2010. 
  36. ^ Perigard, Mark A (August 16, 2009). "Shocker! Stooges do anything for camera in ‘Reality Hell’". Boston Herald. 
  37. ^ Booth, William (August 10, 2004). "Reality Is Only An Illusion, Writers Say - Hollywood Scribes Want a Cut Of Not-So-Unscripted Series". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 26, 2009. 
  38. ^ "Just how real are reality TV shows? - Shows may exist in a middle ground – not fully scripted nor completely true". MSNBC. April 14, 2009. Retrieved April 2009. 
  39. ^ Fretts, Bruce. (July 21, 1995). "The British Invasion The Real World returns for fourth season – The MTV hit invades London". Entertainment Weekly. Page 3 of 4
  40. ^ Rogers, Steve. "'Real World: Chicago' cast admits their September 11 reactions were staged". August 19, 2002
  41. ^ Roberts, Michael. "The Unreal World". Denver Westword. March 14, 1996
  42. ^ "At last! The secrets of 'Survivor' revealed." MSNBC. October 7, 2008. Accessed September 2011.
  43. ^ Reality TV Secrets Revealed, VH1 documentary, 2004
  44. ^ Roger Holland (June 19, 2006). "Hell's Kitchen review". PopMatters. 
  45. ^ Johnson, K C (January 3, 2008). "As 'Shot' misses, Tequila aims anew". Chicago Tribune. 
  46. ^ Hogan, Hulk (October 2009), My Life Outside the Ring, St. Martin's Press. pp. 175 - 178, ISBN 0-312-58889-5
  47. ^ Christensen, Kim; James, Meg (May 13, 2007). "And then the roof caved in". Los Angeles Times. Page 2 of 3.
  48. ^ McDow, Christine (June 28, 2011). "Jesse Csincsak Talks About Ashley Hebert And Last Night’s The Bachelorette". Reality TV Magazine. Retrieved July 10, 2012. "The viewers are seeing the PRODUCED side of her show and not so much the genuine stuff, and she looks silly because of it... A LOT TAKES PLACE IN THE EDITING ROOM!" 
  49. ^ Carbone, Steve (February 26, 2009). "My Interview with Megan Parris". Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  50. ^ Dehnart, Andy (March 29, 2009). "Megan Parris says Bachelor producers "berate," "curse at" contestants". Reality Blurred. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  51. ^ Cherry, Bobby (March 26, 2009). "'Bachelor' candidate from Sewickley Hills goes off script". Trib Live. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  52. ^ Dehnart, Andy (March 16, 2010). "Bachelors have sex with an average of three women, but Bob Guiney has the record with 5.5". Reality Blurred. Retrieved July 10, 2012. "“We need our fair share of villains every season. And now we’re very careful in our develop characters that the audience is going to root for and root against”" 
  53. ^ "Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Wildly Disturbing Quotes from THE BACHELOR creator/executive producer Mike Fleiss". Today’s TV Addict. March 18, 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2012. "“We are very careful in our casting to develop characters that the audience is going to root for and root against.” Fleiss admits that his show has less to do with “reality” than it does making good television. Which is all fine and good... if a few moments later he hadn’t claimed that the whole premise was romance and the search for love." 
  54. ^ Harrison, Rick (2011). License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver . Hyperion. 2011. New York. ISBN 978-1-4013-2430-8 pp. 70, 89
  55. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (December 11, 2012). "'Storage Wars' star says show is rigged". USA Today.
  56. ^ Maresca, Rachel (March 13, 2013). "Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries divorce case heats up: Court documents show marriage scenes were 'scripted, reshot or edited' for reality show". Daily News.
  57. ^ Tate, Amethyst (March 14, 2013) "Kim Kardashian Faked Kris Humphries Scenes: Show Producer Reveals Star Wanted To Make Humpries Look Bad". International Business Times.
  58. ^ Lynch, Marc (2006). "'Reality is Not Enough': The Politics of Arab Reality TV". 
  59. ^ "Arab Big Brother show suspended". BBC News. March 1, 2004. 
  60. ^ Labash, Matt (October 18, 2004). "When a Kiss Is Not Just a Kiss". The Weekly Standard. 
  61. ^ a b Winner's tribe put the millions in Million’s Poet, James Calderwood, The National, April 19, 2010
  62. ^ Move over American Idol: Hissa Hilal in finals of Arab reality TV poetry contest, Kristen Chick, Christian Science Monitor, April 7, 2010
  63. ^ Hassan, Hassan (March 19, 2010). "Million's Poet finalist defies death threats". The National
  64. ^ a b c Li Cui; Francis L. F. Lee (2010). "Becoming Extra-Ordinary: Negotiation of Media Power in the Case of "Super Girls' Voice" in China". Popular Communication 8: 256–272. doi:10.1080/15405702.2010.512829. 
  65. ^ "Democracy Idol". The Economist. September 8, 2005. 
  66. ^ Macartney, Jane (August 29, 2005). "TV talent contest 'too democratic' for China's censors". The Times (London). 
  67. ^ "Footage from banned Chinese "Pop Idol" receives Cambridge premiere" (Press release). University of Cambridge. July 5, 2007. Retrieved July 29, 2007. 
  68. ^ a b c d Onishi, Norimitsu (May 25, 2009). "Indonesia goes wild for American-style reality TV in a nation where income varies widely, shows offer a look at how others live". International Herald Tribune. 
  69. ^ Hirschorn, Michael (May 2007). "The Case for Reality TV". The Atlantic Monthly. 
  70. ^ Poniewozik, James (May 22, 2008). "Reality TV's Working Class Heroes". Time. 
  71. ^ Aurthur, Kate (October 10, 2004). "Reality Stars Keep on Going and Going". The New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  72. ^ Childers, Linda (July 7, 2011). "Rick Harrison of 'Pawn Stars' spills success secrets". CNN Money.
  73. ^ "Introducing the Nonebrities". The Sun. November 7, 2007. 
  74. ^ a b "Kim Kardashian Is Fighting Back Against Backlash". Inside Edition. December 21, 2011
  75. ^ *"Elton John Trashes Kim Kardashian, Reality Television". The Improper. February 4, 2011.
    *Vanderberg, Madison (December 23, 2011). "Kardashian Family: The Backlash of Being Overexposed". Hollyscoop.
    *Gostin, Nicki (December 12, 2011). "Jonah Hill Talks 'The Sitter,' Weight Loss And Disgust With Kardashians". The Huffington Post.
    *Sarah Bull (November 30, 2011). "Daniel Craig brands the Kardashians 'f***ing idiots' for making careers out of their private lives". Daily Mail.
    *Marikar, Sheila (March 19, 2012). "Jon Hamm Defends Kim Kardashian Criticism". ABC News.
  76. ^ Mitchell, Houston (July 14, 2012). "Ronda Rousey wants to beat up Kim Kardashian". Los Angeles Times.
  77. ^ Douglas, Stephen (July 13, 2012). "Ronda Rousey Wants to Beat Up Kim Kardashian". Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  78. ^ Hall, Chris (July 14, 2012). "Ronda Rousey Wants To Beat Up 'Glorified Pornstar' Kim Kardashian". Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  79. ^ "The Appeal of Reality Television for Teen and Pre-Teen Audiences". Journal of Advertising Research 51 (1): 288–297. March 2011. doi:10.2501/jar-51-1-288-297. 
  80. ^ Wallis, Cara (2011). "New Media Practices in China: Youth Patterns, Processes and Politics". International Journal of Communications 5: 406–436. 
  81. ^ Guo, Ke; Ying Wu (2009). "Media Consumption and Global Visions Among Urban Chinese Youth". China Media Research 5 (4): 80–94. 
  82. ^ Paron, Katina (2008). "It's About Audience: How Adult Audiences Can Benefit Youth Media Organizations". Youth Media Reporter 2 (1-6): 87–91. 
  83. ^ "Jaded". The Economist. January 27, 2007. p. 57. 
  84. ^ Lundy, L. Ruth, A. & Park, T.(2008). Simply Irresistible: Reality TV Consumption Patterns, Communication Quarterly, 56(2), p.208-225.
  85. ^ Ebersole, S. & Woods, R.(2007). Motivations for Viewing Reality Television: A Uses and Gratifications Analysis. Southwestern Mass Communication Journal, 23(1, 23-42)
  86. ^ a b Reiss, S. & Wiltz, J. (2004). Why People Watch Reality TV, Media Psychology 6(4).
  87. ^ Papacharissi, Z. & Mendelson, A. (2007). An exploratory study of reality appeal: Uses and Gratifications of reality TV shows. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 51(2), 355-370.
  88. ^ Baruh, L.(2009). Publicized intimacies on reality television: An analysis of voyeuristic content and its contribution to the appeal of reality programming. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 53(2), p. 207
  89. ^ Baruh, L.(2009). Publicized intimacies on reality television: An analysis of voyeuristic content and its contribution to the appeal of reality programming. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 53(2), p.190
  90. ^ "The Prize of Peril". e-text. 
  91. ^ Coral Ann Howells, "The Cambridge companion to Margaret Atwood", Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-521-83966-1, p.186
  92. ^ John Moss, Tobi Kozakewich, "Margaret Atwood: The Open Eye", Re-appraisals, Canadian writers, volume 30, University of Ottawa Press, 2006, ISBN 0-7766-0613-1, p.398
  93. ^ Sharon Rose Wilson, "Myths and fairy tales in contemporary women's fiction: from Atwood to Morrison", Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, ISBN 0-230-60554-0, pp.43,49
  94. ^ Prigge, Matt (January 3, 2007). "Jackass Number Two... the year's best, most twisted cross-over documentary-and don't forget it is, in every definition of the word, a documentary". Repertory (Philadelphia Weekly). 
  95. ^ Jury, Louise (January 4, 2007). "Has reality television had its day, or are audiences still attracted to it?". The Independent. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  96. ^ Dollar, Steve (August 17, 2007). "Reality Never Looked So ... Real". The New York Sun. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]