What is Reality Television?

“Reality television (also known as reality shows) is a television programming genre that presents unscripted situations, documents actual events and usually features unknowns instead of professional actors. Such shows usually have various standard tropes, including frequent interviews with participants that double as the show’s narration, and sometimes an emphasis on drama and personal conflict.” Wikipedia

In The Spotlight

Most people equate the emergence of reality television with Survivor or Big Brother, shows that were created in early 2000. These shows premiered within months of each other, and are still on the air today. Since that time reality television has exploded, in fact Reality Television currently makes up approximately 80% of the programming schedule. From Top Chef to The Biggest Loser, Hoarders to Extreme Home Make-Over, Dancing with the Stars to Duck Dynasty, What Not To Wear to Bridezillas. There is a show for every type of viewer.

 The First Reality Show

Survivor was not the first Reality Show. The show that birthed Reality TV was actually aired on August 8, 1948 and ran until May 5, 2004. I watched this show many times over the years, and still enjoy watching clips, the humor stands the test of time.

Candid Camera created by Alan Funt:

This was Reality Television at its best. Candid Camera was a show that the whole family could watch together, good clean fun. As a child I remember many evenings watching with my parents and siblings. The show has a timeless quality…I am laughing as much today, watching the snippets on YouTube, as I did when I was a child.

Reality Television Today

I am not sure why some of today’s reality shows are watched. I catch glimpses as I flip through the channels…and am appalled by some, and confused by others. Most of today’s Reality Shows are not REAL, they are scripted according to what producers feel viewers are watching. And boy…we are watching.

Competitive Reality Shows such as The Amazing Race, Survivor, Next Top Model, American Idol…these shows are entertaining to watch…and I enjoy them, for the most part. There are some shows in the Reality Line-Up confuse me. The Simple Life or The World According to Paris…who is Paris Hilton? Why is she famous? Or Keeping Up With The Kardashians , Kourtney and Kim Take New York, Khloé & Lamar, Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami, and Kourtney and Kim Take Miami.


Obviously these shows are being watched…in 2011 the show Kourtney and Kim Take New York premiered with 3 million viewers! Seriously, how many spin-off shows of the Kardashians do we really need?

Filming Live

For Reality Television the best viewing is unscripted…Candid Camera was a long running hit for this reason. The camera is always rolling in a reality setting…below are a few unexpected clips.

 Next Top Model-Walk of Shame

The Amazing Race-Right in the Kisser

Next Top Model-And The Winner Is…

I am a DVR addict…

As I have admitted in previous articles I love to DVR all my favorite shows and watch them as I lay in bed waiting for sleep. And I also must admit that several Reality Shows are set to record on my DVR. I am a faithful viewer of The Biggest Loser, The Voice, and The Bachelor.  As well as watching the shows I log onto Reality Television Forums…to see what other “Reality TV Addicts” have to say about each episode. As we roll into Sweeps during the month of May I am anticipating each show of The Voice and the beginning of The Bachelorette.

Do you watch Reality Television? If so, what are your favorites?



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