ATS1304 Introduction to Television StudiesREALITY TELEVISIONB e l l a M c N e i l li s a b e l l a . m c n e i l l @ m o n a s h . e d u
“Reality television may well be the most exorbitantly ‘noticed’ form of programming in television’s history.”(Graeme Turner, 2010, p. 33)“…the perfect televisual form for the contemporary cultural moment … [that has become] a crucial component of the fabric of popular culture.” (Jon Dovey, 2000, p. 78)
Candid Camera(CBS, 1948-2014)…Up (ITV, 1964-)An American Family (PBS, 1971-73)Cops(FOX, 1989-)The Real World (MTV, 1992-2017)Survivor (CBS, 2000-)Big Brother (Various, 1999-)
-A focus on the personal-“…ordinary people doing ordinary things” (Corner, 2004, p. 295)-Highly constructed and formatted presentation-A blend of factual (educational) reportage with entertainment values such as humour and emotion -‘…implicitly and explicitly addresses the viewers about good and bad ways to live their lives’ (Hill, 2005 p. 184)REALITY TV TRAITS
* Late 1980s / early 1990s: crime and ‘disaster’ series’e.g. Cops, 999, CrimewatchObservational or re-enactments of “real” events; focussed on police, emergency services and hospital workers; considered “Trauma TV”*Late 1990s: makeover, talk show and youth-oriented series’e.g.Jerry Springer, The Real World, The SwanSpectacle and drama filled; ‘drama’ driven by personal interpersonal and/or everyday stories* 2000s: ‘Social Experiments’ and Talent series’e.g.Survivor,Big Brother, Idolfranchises, Got Talentfranchises, The Amazing RaceCommercially successful; “made-for-TV” reality; international franchises the norm.