3 LNG113 Reality TV -...

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The History of Reality TV Preston Ward Since the inception of television, many programs have come and gone. Different series and programs have emerged from many different producers. The types of that shows that air during a given year are based on the public’s viewing preferences. Some years comedies dominate television, and other years science fiction or drama series may be the most popular among viewers. A new genre was introduced to television when entrepreneur Mark Burnett stepped over a boundary that nobody had before. He developed the “unscripted” drama series Eco-Challenge which made it’s debut in 1995 (Bowman, 2001). This program was a video taped race where teams of contestants compete to be the first to complete a journey through a strenuous course that covers several difficult terrains. This show was a huge success as television audiences became hooked on the suspense of the competition and grew fond of the contestants. The success of Eco-Challenge led Burnett to produce Reality TV’s highest rated series, Survivor (See Taking a Look at Four Popular Reality TV Shows ) (Fenner, 2001). Burnett has also played a role in the production of popular shows such as Real World and Fear Factor . Reality television is shown on all major television networks and several cable stations including MTV, Discovery Channel, and USA . Burnett has pioneered a new genre of television which is becoming increasingly popular among viewers Taking a Look at Four Popular Reality TV Shows All Reality TV shows may vary in content or theme, but they all have one common goal. Every show is designed to hook as many viewers as possible so they will continue to watch each week. The more viewers a show has, the greater the revenue will be from sponsors. Some shows involve tough, rigorous production, while others involve nothing more than setting up cameras and letting the “actors” do the rest. Survivor CBS’s hit series Survivor , created and produced by Reality TV pioneer Mark Burnett places 16 contestants along with a host and production crew to a remote location where living conditions are far from ideal. In each episode one contestant is voted off the show by the other contestants. The contestants are divided into two tribes that compete head to head in strenuous games for the right to give their members immunity from being voted off. As the
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