So what is reality TV? Annette Hill, author of Reality TV: Audiences and Popular Factual TV defines it as “located in larger territories, between information and entertainment, documentaries and theater.“
She goes on to explain that reality TV includes “non-professional actors, unscripted dialogues, hand-held cameras [and] see events unfold as they happen in front of the camera.”
Whether you’ve watched the 40 seasons of Survivor, enjoy the frenzy Island of love or trying to keep up with the Kardashians, there is a wide variety in the type of programming that reality TV has to offer.
This is just one of the reasons viewers love this content – but let’s really get to the heart of how reality TV affects media and audiences.
How Reality TV Changed the TV Industry
Netflix Marketing Director Bozoma Saint John says: âPop culture and entertainment can be seen as superficial, but it isn’t. This is the language we all speak, and it is the point of connection between people all over the world. And if anything is an amalgamation of pop culture and entertainment, it’s reality show.
Television was once a luxury that only the rich could afford, but since the medium’s commercialization in the 1950s, it has established itself as a powerful and reliable source of information. As the influence of television gained in influence, audiences became hungrier for content.
The first iterations of reality TV, namely Hidden camera, the Miss America Contest Where An american family spawned many other titles that would change the way we watch television and forever change the media industry.
These days, you can’t surf or browse streaming platforms without being bombarded with reality TV shows. Not only does this television format dominate your viewing, it is a popular topic of discussion on social media, in gossip magazines as well as in online forums.
While we’re on the subject of social media, it has propelled reality TV into the stratosphere. Platforms like Twitter are full of reactionary gifs and memes derived from this medium, as well as user comments on said television shows.
In many ways, reality TV gives audiences a lot of power. In some cases, they can directly influence the content of these programs by voting on shows like American Idol Where Island of love. Or they can even take control of the story just through social media comments.
Take the reality show The single person for example. Here, the audience does not have a direct influence on the show but through the online community that is âBachelor Nationâ, which can influence the outcome of the show.
An example is during the 24e season of the show when contestant Victoria Fuller was ousted by members of Bachelor Nation for modeling for a “white lives matter” brand before appearing on the show.
– rach against the machine (@rchlmllnd) January 7, 2020
Previously, Fuller had won a challenge where she was scheduled to appear on the cover of Cosmopolitan but after news of her controversial past came to light, her cover was taken down.
This is one of the many examples where audiences can directly influence reality TV content solely through the power of social media.
So, if you are wondering how exactly this medium has changed the media landscape, the answer is simple: reality TV monopolizes the media.
From a media perspective, it’s important to note that reality TV is significantly cheaper to produce than scripted TV. E! Online states that “a 30 minute episode of reality TV costs around $ 100,000 to $ 500,000 to produce.âThat’s nothing compared to the millions it takes to produce scripted television.
It is clear that reality TV is very popular, both with broadcasters and audiences around the world. Corn Why Do we as a society love reality programming so much?
The psychology behind why audiences love reality TV
The allure of reality TV is fascinating to dissect; these are real people doing real things, and that’s relevant to the audience.
While the true authenticity of reality TV is often a matter of debate, this is what draws viewers to the medium. Annette Hill provided some insight into this by stating that reality TV features “… viewers a real, unmanipulated window into the lives and characters of real people.”
Another point of attraction for viewers is the inspirational aspect. When you watch programs like The X factor, viewers see average people achieving stardom, and it seems achievable to them, leaving many wondering: “if they can do it why can’t i? ‘
Most often, the spectator in question Is get the chance to be on a reality show, if they so choose. And it could quickly catapult them to stardom, especially with the power of social media.
Of Pawn stars To Jersey Shore – and everything in between – another attractive attribute of reality TV is its wide range of programming.
Consumers love this strain because it gives them options to choose from depending on their mood. In addition, because of this diversity of programming, reality TV is inclusive. There really is something for everyone.
Finally, reality TV is pure, unfiltered entertainment. This has a major attraction factor with the public, with 28% of American adults say their main reason for enjoying the genre is because they enjoy drama.‘
What’s your favorite reality TV show? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.
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If you would like to learn more about the TV industry, feel free to check out Streaming versus pay TV: which option is better?
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