Reality television - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Reality television - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_television

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reality television is a genre of television programming that presents purportedly unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors, sometimes in a contest or other situation where a prize is awarded.[1] The genre has existed in some form or another since the early years of television, began in earnest as a television formula in the 1990s, and exploded as a global phenomenon around 1999-2000, via series such as Big Brother and Survivor.[1] Programs in the reality television genre are commonly called reality shows and often are produced in series. Documentaries and nonfictional programming such as news and sports shows are usually not classified as reality shows. The genre covers a wide range of programming formats, from game or quiz shows which resemble the frantic, often demeaning shows produced in Japan in the 1980s and 1990s (such as Gaki no tsukai), to surveillance- or voyeurism-focused productions such as Big Brother.[1] Reality television frequently portrays a modified and highly influenced form of reality, utilizing sensationalism to attract viewers and so to generate advertising profits.[2][3][4] Participants are often placed in exotic locations or abnormal situations,[1] and are sometimes coached to act in specific scripted ways by off-screen "story editors" or "segment producers," with the portrayal of events and speech manipulated and contrived to create an illusion of reality through editing and other post-production techniques.[2][3][4]

1 History 1.1 1940s1950s 1.2 1960s1970s 1.3 1980s1990s 1.4 2000s 2 Subgenres 2.1 Documentary-style 2.2 Competition/game shows 2.3 Self-improvement/makeover 2.4 Renovation 2.5 Social experiment 2.6 Dating shows 2.7 Talk shows 2.8 Hidden cameras 2.9 Supernatural and paranormal 2.10 Hoaxes 3 Analysis 3.1 Political impact 3.2 As a substitute for scripted drama 4 Criticism 4.1 Influenced by corporate profit motive 4.1.1 Product placement 4.2 "Reality" as misnomer 4.2.1 Unreal environments

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Reality television - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_television

4.2.2 Misleading editing 4.2.3 Restaging 4.2.4 Premeditated scripting and acting 4.2.5 Misleading premise 4.3 Instant celebrity 4.4 As a spectacle of humiliation 4.5 Participation of children 4.5.1 Jon & Kate Plus 8 4.6 Other examples 5 Prior elements in popular culture 6 Pop culture references 6.1 Films 6.2 Television 6.3 Web 6.4 Music 6.5 Books 7 Other influences on popular culture 8 See also 9 Further reading 10 References 11 External links

1940s1950sPrecedents for television that portrayed people in unscripted situations began in the 1940s. Debuting in 1948, Allen Funt's Candid Camera, (based on his previous 1947 radio show, Candid Microphone), broadcast unsuspecting ordinary people reacting to pranks. It has been called the "granddaddy of the reality TV genre."[5] In 1948, talent search shows Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour and Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts featured amateur competitors and audience voting. The Miss America Pageant, first broadcast in 1954, was a competition where the winner achieved status as a national celebrity.[6] In the 1950s, game shows Beat the Clock and Truth or Consequences involved contestants in wacky competitions, stunts, and practical jokes. The Groucho Marx-hosted game show, You Bet Your Life, was primarily composed of Marx' prescripted [7] comebacks to what was most often candid interviews of the contestants, although some 'contestants' were actors.[7] The radio series Nightwatch (19511955), which tape-recorded the daily activities of Culver City, California police officers, also helped pave the way for reality television. The series You Asked For It (19501959), in which viewer requests dictated content, was an antecedent of today's audience-participation reality TV elements, in which viewers cast votes to help determine the course of events.

1960s1970sFirst broadcast in the United Kingdom in 1964, the Granada Television series 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 7 Plus Seven, 21 Up, etc. The series was structured as a series of interviews

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Reality television - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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with no element of plot. However, it did have the then-new effect of turning ordinary people into celebrities. 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 first reality show in the modern sense may have been the 12-part 1973 PBS series An American Family, which showed a nuclear family 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. 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.[9] One Man and His Dog was a British Television series which began in 1976 featuring the participants of sheepdog trials. In 1978, Living in the Past recreated life in an Iron Age English village.

1980s1990sReality television as it is currently understood can be directly linked to several television shows that began in the late 1980s and early 1990s. 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,[10] showed police officers on duty apprehending criminals; it introduced the camcorder look and cinma vrit 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.[11] However, the producers of The Real World have stated that their direct inspiration was An American Family.[12] 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 those 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.)[13] 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 others' houses, and was the first reality show[citation needed] with a self-improvement or makeover theme.

2000sReality television saw an explosion of global popularity starting in the summer of 2000, with the successes of Big Brother and Survivor (in the US). In particular, Survivor and American Idol have topped the US season-average television ratings on several occasions. Survivor led the ratings in 200102, and Idol has topped the ratings six consecutive years

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Reality television - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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(200405 through 200910). The shows Survivor, the Idol series, The Amazing Race, the America's Next Top Model series, the Dancing With The Stars series, The Apprentice, Fear Factor and Big Brother have all had a global effect, having each been successfully syndicated in dozens of countries. There have been at least three television channels devoted exclusively to reality television: Fox Reality in the United States, launched in 2005, Global Reality Channel in Canada in 2010, and Zone Reality in the UK, launched in 2002. (The Canadian and British channels still exist; Fox Reality ended in mid-2010). In addition, several other cable channels, such as MTV and Bravo, feature original reality programming as a mainstay.[14] Mike Darnell, head of reality TV for the US Fox network, was quoted as saying that the broadcast networks (NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox) "might as well plan three or four [reality shows] each season because we're going to have them, anyway."[14] 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. Despite these concerns, DVDs for reality shows have sold briskly; Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, The Amazing Race, Project Runway, and America's Next Top Model have all ranked in the top DVDs sold on Amazon.com, and DVDs of The Simple Life have 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. Another option is to create documentaries around series including extended interviews with the participants, such as the NFL Films-style documentary American Idol Rewind and the pay-per-view Jerry Springer Too Hot for TV series are examples of using this strategy. COPS has had huge success in syndication, direct response sales and DVD. A FOX staple since 1989, COPS is, as of 2008, in its 21st season, having outlasted all competing scripted police shows. Another series that has seen wide success is "Cheaters", which has been running for 10 seasons in the US and is syndicated in over 100 countries worldwide. In 2007, according to the Learning and Skills Council, one in seven UK teenagers hopes to gain fame by appearing on reality television.[15] 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 ever aired over a videogame console. The show entered its second season in the same year. [16]

The genre of reality television consists of various subgenres.

Documentary-styleIn 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 operashence the terms docusoap and docudrama. In other shows, a cinma vrit style is adopted, where the filmmaker is more than a passive observertheir presence and influence is greatly manifest.

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Reality television - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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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 a specific challenge or obstacle 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 different versions produced in many countries around the globe. 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. Celebrities 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, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica 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 has created an entire block of shows dedicated to celebrity reality, known as "Celebreality". 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. No outside experts are brought in (at least, none appear on screen) to...

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