Reality Television Shows

Prepare and submit a paper on reality television shows. Reality television began back in the 1950s. The show that is dubbed as “the granddaddy of reality TV” was a show known as Candid Camera. This show aired in 1948, and it was basically centered on taping how people would react to pranks, much like Punk’d. This show was responsible for placing hidden cameras or microphones in backyards or households, they were already there in the eyes and ears of concerned and vigilant citizens encouraged by government propaganda to report any signs of “un-American” activity (Holmes and Jermyn, 35). The very first Miss America pageant was aired in 1954, making the winner an instant celebrity. Since then, there have been many reality shows that have taken the nation by storm. Shows such as The Dating Game, An American Family, Big Brother, The Real World, American Idol, and so much more. People keep coming back to the show because they can associate to it, they fact that it’s unscripted makes the characters on the show more relatable, and it offers you an inside view to almost anywhere. The hidden camera could document the world of institutions, from the judiciary system to the mental hospital (Oullette and Murray, 25) There are many genres on the reality TV front. one that is picking a lot of fans is the Reality competition genre. These shows follow the format of non-tournament elimination contests. The common scenario is the participants are filmed competing to win a prize, often living together in a confined environment. Usually, it goes on until only one person or one team is left, and they’re declared the winner/s. The elimination can be done either by voting, or by judges selecting who passes through. Examples of such shows are Big Brother, American Idol, America’s Got Talent, Star Search, etc. These shows don’t just come to mind. Social scientists continue to serve as consultants in reality TV to this day, screening contestants for shows and helping to design situations and guidelines for interaction (Oullette and Murray, 26). One show that has captivated is Survivor. This show was created in 1997 by Charlie Parsons. It premiered on May 31, 2000 on CBS. It was hosted by Jeff Probst and produced by Mark Burnett. As a result of the show, the latter has a second career as a management consultant, serving as motivational speaker and helping executives develop skills to compete effectively in the corporate “jungle” (Oullette and Murray, 27). The show centers on a group of castaways in different tribes left out in the middle of nowhere, and they must search and provide their own food, shelter, water, fire and they must look out for themselves. There are weekly challenges where rewards such as fine food, or much-needed rest is offered. The last three or two that are left standing are usually left at the mercy of the other eliminated contestants. They vote for who should win, and the winner gets one million dollars. This show has experienced a lot of success. It is commonly considered the “mother of American reality TV” because it experienced high ratings and was very profitable. It’s currently had twenty-two seasons and three-hundred and two episodes. Over the years, Survivor has been set in many different places such as Thailand, Polynesia, Australia, Malaysia, Vanuatu, Panama, to name a few. The most recent season is based in the beach of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

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