Reality TV


Reality TV, by Vaughan Buckland: 7th October 2003


Reality Television

Reality Television is not something new but it certainly there is a new trend amongst forming cult fan followers as they push new types of Reality Television. Before what can be described as "Reality Television" Television history need to be explored as many aspects of Reality Television have appeared through out the history of the Television set. From the first live broadcast through to the present day news we have seen Reality Television footage intriguing viewers. We have seen live events covered and situations erupt and being able to witness all this captured on camera. Anywhere a person is armed with a camera could be a potential if they capture something extraordinary. From cameras where the action is happening on the news through to the reactions of current affair topics investigating all recording their actions on camera. Many aspects of Reality Television have appeared captivating viewers though out television history although today we find Reality Television reaching new levels in order to capture their audience. Reality television has always captured the ratings as the news and journalism television has always been a part of reality television.

Reality television is basically built up of five separate categories. Live Event Reality Television, Journalism Reality Television, Real Reality Television, Staged Reality Television and Talk Back Reality Television. The concept behind Reality Television is for the audience to witness real reactions and emotions of people and events including perhaps something remarkable all captured on camera. Anything really spontaneous or live that allows viewers to witness situations erupt or unfold could be considered Reality Television.

Live Event Reality Television includes such programs as , Sports, Live Events and Court Room Television including Judge Judy, Court Room Justice, Judge Brown,

These shows capturing events allow viewers to witness everything in their own homes. Live Television existed before prerecorded television so Live Reality Television was the first kind of television ever broadcasted and as viewers demand to see action unfold as it happens. Live television is the dominant drive in television today and will also be in the future. As the ability for Television expands with broad band, satellite and growing capabilities of the digital age and ever growing technologies we will continue to witness Live Event Reality Television.

Journalism Reality Television features programs such as the News, 60 minutes , The investigators, A Current Affair, Hard Copy, Depending on Audience some of these shows have been varied between countries to make them more captivating to the audience although the concept stays the same. The concept of media television involves the audience witnessing all sides if possible of the story to unfold some sort of truth. From these shows we have witnessed disgust, shame, guilt, remorse and lack there of, as well as one two three more sided stories. We will continue to view journalists telling the story or exposing shame, praise or question to the public as long as there is a story that can create an interest, an uproar or controversy worth discussing or exploring current affairs will exist on television.Controversial trivial issues or exploited situations builds up the basis of Journalism Reality Television.

Real Reality Television is made up from shows like Documentaries, Cops, Worlds Wildest Police, Worlds Wildest Videos, Real TV, Funniest Home Videos etc., These shows display mainly action recorded on camera so unbelievable it needs to be seen to be believed. Real Reality Television Shows have are based on collections of video footage. Shows like Cops footage is collected from cameras following police to reported crimes and capturing the events of crime on tape. Fixed mounted street and car cameras are also shown as the eye witness to some of their footage. Some other Real Reality Television programs request your home movies. The amount of people that own home movies cameras is huge and more and more people are taking up digital photography as a hobby. Currently in the computer industry digital cameras have the most steady growth and with the demand for moving digital in the digital camera market been made more people are now able to record moving picture. With decent playback resolutions these cameras allow the amateur camera operator to be able to watch their own home movies on television and submit their own situations recorded to these shows. Documentaries also exploring the lives of people or of nature would also be considered Real Reality Television.

Staged Reality Television is made up with shows like Survivor, Big Brother, Candid Camera, Australian/UK /American Idol, Temptation Island, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire. The Block, Renovation Rescue, Auctions, DIY Rescue, These shows all have one element a prize. Contestants become viewers lab rats to be judged questioned and watched. Many of these shows offer audience participation to involve the audience more in the decision of the fate of the shows guests by inviting their viewers to vote on the fate using multiple choices by phone numbers and internet voting which usually generate more income for the shows budget. Modern day television has made this the most influential television inspiring many new shows all aspiring to capture the cult viewers of Staged Reality Television.

Talk Back Reality Television based on talk back radio where the guests phone radio stations to address issues by listeners. Modern day technology has taken Reality talk back radio to television. Staged Reality Talk Back Television has taken over day time viewing replacing the soap operas in many of the television time slots. These shows are Beauty And The Beast, Phil Donahue, Maury, Rikki Lake, Queen Latifa, Oprah, and the most controversial of all Jerry Springer. These shows invite people, their spouses, lovers even enemies on the show to confront their issues or even air their dirty laundry on television. The Jerry Springer show has become the "trailer trash of modern day television" but has set the footings for controversial television. The stories these programs present may be considered soppy, intrusive or controversial but with the growing interest in reality television there will be a demand for Talk Back Reality Television.

Marketing besides the regular commercial is growing and the marketing breaks are slowly being incorporated into the shows themselves as many Staged Reality Television shows are shopping from the one shop, wearing particular clothing, buying a particular brand, requesting you dial a number, visit a web site or a plug for a company appears in the picture. This is now another way of ensuring the show generates money. As a whole we see Reality Television making up a great deal of the free to air programming as well as much of the cable viewing. Its seems the drive for more of Reality Television programming has come from the success of some of the present Reality Television. New types of shows and themes have exploded onto the Reality Television market including many of the landscaping, building, renovations and real estate shows have exploded with interest. As the market becomes saturated with these shows it will be ratings and time slots as well as what is repeatable viewing which will ultimately decide the fate of the future of these reality television shows.

Reality Television - Vaughan Buckland

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