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REALITY Television - WHY?

Survivor, Amazing Race, Biggest Loser, Big Brother just to name a few.

Why is reality TV still here? Will it ever go away? What happened to the good old shows?

by Anonymousreply 37August 19, 2008 10:01 PM

The ones with a point are okay.

The ones that just follow a bunch of people around doing nothing (esp. BB and the Real World for a while) are stupid and need to end.

by Anonymousreply 1August 19, 2008 6:12 PM

Network execs are only concerned with money. Anything that costs a little as possible to make is fine with them. And the inexplicable fact that most of these shows still draw big ratings doesn't help at all.

It astounds me that American Idol and Survivor still get big ratings.

by Anonymousreply 2August 19, 2008 6:19 PM

Yep money is an issue. Who watches these shows except middle to lower class Americans - trailor trash.

Reality tv is like the 'National Enquirer' of television.

by Anonymousreply 3August 19, 2008 6:23 PM

MUCH CHEAPER TO PRODUCE. They cost a tiny fraction of what regular shows cost, so even if their ratings aren't great, the producers and networks still clean up.

That's the answer.

by Anonymousreply 4August 19, 2008 6:27 PM

Exactly, R4. These people competing on reality shows don't have high powered agents like TV stars do. These shows are here to stay.

by Anonymousreply 5August 19, 2008 6:29 PM

I don't consider American Idol a "reality show." It is a talent contest. All the others are just ordinary people letting their greed and vanity do their talking with nothing of substance to back them up. Shows like "Real World" and "Big Brother" are not very authentic because the participants are playing for the cameras. All reality shows suck and I agree that people who watch them are low brow and easily titillated. The sad fact that crap like "Survivor" and "Wife Swap" are still on is beyond me. As long as producers and the networks make money off of these shows that seem to draw decent ratings, we're not gonna see the end of them anytime soon.

by Anonymousreply 6August 19, 2008 6:44 PM

What's so hilarious is they have nothing to do with reality. Most of the contestants are failed actors and after wathing them throw tantrums or try to squeeze out a tear you can see why they never made it.

And yes unfortunately they're probably here forever. I get the feeling a lot of people watch them as a substitute for actually living (whether they realize it or not). It's life without all the boring and painful stuff. And if it is painful, at least it't not you. Yuck.

by Anonymousreply 7August 19, 2008 6:44 PM

I dunno. I did a show, and I like to think there are tiers. There are the Real World/I Love Money/Big Brother crapfests that only exist to showcase reality whores, and then there are shows like Project Runway/American Idol/etc. that showcase people with some sort of real skill or qualification to offer. There seems to have been a move towards the latter.

by Anonymousreply 8August 19, 2008 6:54 PM

Cheap.

by Anonymousreply 9August 19, 2008 7:01 PM

Oh! GBM - That is the "public outing" that is coming up? As you mentioned in the thread about your hometown paper?

Amazing Race?

Are you gonna give us the inside scoop?

by Anonymousreply 10August 19, 2008 7:02 PM

Can't you find your remote, OP? Did you check your pockets?

by Anonymousreply 11August 19, 2008 7:03 PM

Oh, so sorry r10. It was "I Want to Work for Diddy" on VH1, and I've already been eliminated. The show was kind of a ratings flop, but I got some great opportunities out of it and it was quite the experience. I came out, got some ink in gay press, and got a gig writing and doing a video blog for a gay website. I'm meeting with managers, and they seem to be pushing me to do more reality, but I don't think it's my thing.

by Anonymousreply 12August 19, 2008 7:25 PM

There are just as many good shows now as there used to be. But with 500 channels the chances of them all landing on the networks are a lot slimmer--and the networks need SOMETHING to fill the time and reality is an easy option. Try watching HBO, Showtime, FX, USA, AMC, A&E, TNT, or TBS sometime if you don't like what's on network tv.

by Anonymousreply 13August 19, 2008 7:34 PM

>>There are the Real World/I Love Money/Big Brother crapfests that only exist to showcase reality whores, and then there are shows like Project Runway/American Idol/etc. that showcase people with some sort of real skill or qualification to offer. There seems to have been a move towards the latter.

But the sad part is even the "latter" shows which showcase people with so-called skills now feature actors and set-up scenes. Only the outrageous survive on these shows.

by Anonymousreply 14August 19, 2008 7:38 PM

Because they're fun to watch, stupid.

by Anonymousreply 15August 19, 2008 7:39 PM

Hi, Rob!

by Anonymousreply 16August 19, 2008 7:39 PM

It's fun to watch real people make fools of themselves.

by Anonymousreply 17August 19, 2008 7:46 PM

I have an IQ of 10.

by Anonymousreply 18August 19, 2008 7:49 PM

Do you have any inside scoop on the "Diddy is gay" rumors?

by Anonymousreply 19August 19, 2008 7:52 PM

There are the Real World/I Love Money/Big Brother crapfests that only exist to showcase reality whores, and then there are shows like Project Runway/American Idol/etc. that showcase people with some sort of real skill or qualification to offer. There seems to have been a move towards the latter"

EVERYONE who goes on ANY of these shows are only looking for a quick buck and instant fame.

by Anonymousreply 20August 19, 2008 7:53 PM

"There are just as many good shows now as there used to be."

Uh-huh. Sure.

by Anonymousreply 21August 19, 2008 7:54 PM

Want the reality on "reality"?

Here it is...

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 22August 19, 2008 8:01 PM

The networks are paying a long term price for resorting to reality TV. These shows create less equity in every sense of the word. They don't create true stars, and thus lower the network brand, as well as the brand of the medium itself. They don't syndicate or sell on home video. They don't rerun. Networks like ABC that have retained a focus on scripted television have burnished their brand immensely and attracted more lucrative advertising dollars as well as better integrated their content production with the rest of their corporate parent's media empire. Whereas NBC has watered down its brand with tacky reality projects like American Gladiators, total short term gain.

CBS plays it right -- two high profile, quality reality projects, with fluff like Big Brother kept to the summer, and kept off-brand -- you don't see the contestants as mascots for the network the way NBC has done with the Gladiators.

Ben Silverman is the worst thing to happen to NBC since Jeff Zucker. I mean ABC Family is a more relevant network, creatively speaking, than NBC nowadays.

by Anonymousreply 23August 19, 2008 8:03 PM

Want to give reality TV a good swift kick in the nuts?

Please sign this petition...

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 24August 19, 2008 8:04 PM

[quote]EVERYONE who goes on ANY of these shows are only looking for a quick buck and instant fame.

Some, but not all, and "instant fame" is pretty damn worthless. What it can give you is a foot in the door if you have skill, drive, and the patience to try to build a real career. I mean, is there any comparison between Christian Siriano and, say, New York?

...and hi, r16 ;)

by Anonymousreply 25August 19, 2008 8:05 PM

...and that's a good fucking point, r23.

by Anonymousreply 26August 19, 2008 8:07 PM

Networks are looking at the short term. Reality fare is cheaper to produce, yet skew towards the younger audience, especially the 18-34 demo all networks are chasing.

Remember in the early 1990s when there were so many news magazines? (Dateline five nights a week!). Although those are cheaper to produce as well, they skew older viewers.

by Anonymousreply 27August 19, 2008 8:09 PM

Read R22's link, then sign R24's petition.

by Anonymousreply 28August 19, 2008 8:18 PM

I watch: Project Runway, Top Chef, Food Network Star, Shear Genius, Survivor, and a bunch of "unscripted" shows like Mythbusters, What Not To Wear, and Clean House.

So much of "scripted" TV is just crap. Even the supposedly high-quality shows are annoying to me - I can't stand the unrealistic dialogue, the contrived situations, the over-the-top melodrama, the obvious and heavy-handed attempts at manipulating the audience's emotions. Most prime-time dramas are exactly the same as daytime soaps, only with better sets, music, lighting and camera-work. Comedies don't rate much better - so many of them suck because they're [italic] just not funny[/italic]. I can enjoy crude humor, geek humor, dark humor, un-PC humor, etc, as long as it's actually funny - but most sitcoms are just stale and boring.

Yes, I know the "reality" of reality TV is manipulated by the producers, and I know that a lot of the contestants are attention-whores and wannabe actors, but in many cases they can still produce a more entertaining program than a Hollywood scriptwriter can. I would rather watch "Amazing Race" any day over "Grey's Anatomy" or "Desperate Housewives".

by Anonymousreply 29August 19, 2008 8:24 PM

They're cheap and provide negotiations leverage for networks to threaten the people involved in those handful of non-reality shows that are still kept on the air.

Also, it provides an average schmo from the Midwest as well as any skanky 16-year old girl from Long Island with a delusion that one day they can "make it big", just like those bottomfeeders on "I love money", "Big Brother", etc.

by Anonymousreply 30August 19, 2008 8:29 PM

"Yep money is an issue. Who watches these shows except middle to lower class Americans - trailor trash."

You sound very snobbish. You don't need to put down people just because they weren't lucky enough to have been born rich.

"I don't consider American Idol a "reality show." It is a talent contest. All the others are just ordinary people letting their greed and vanity do their talking with nothing of substance to back them up. Shows like "Real World" and "Big Brother" are not very authentic because the participants are playing for the cameras. All reality shows suck and I agree that people who watch them are low brow and easily titillated. The sad fact that crap like "Survivor" and "Wife Swap" are still on is beyond me."

American Idol is just as cheesy as "Survivor" or "Wife Swap," if not more

by Anonymousreply 31August 19, 2008 8:34 PM

"Some, but not all"

True.

"What it can give you is a foot in the door if you have skill, drive, and the patience to try to build a real career."

That's great, and more power to the people who do that.

by Anonymousreply 32August 19, 2008 8:37 PM

Most scripted shows these days are just as awful as the reality shows. I don't think crap like CSI: Miami or Two and a Half Men is superior to most reality programming

by Anonymousreply 33August 19, 2008 8:37 PM

In response to r33: you're right, it isn't. But that's the logical consequence of the reality TV onslaught. Why bother putting your effort in writing something that's gonna play a second violin to, say, "Dancing With Stars", when you can try your luck at one of the cable networks. Plus, you don't need to deal with all the restrictions of internal censorship and such.

by Anonymousreply 34August 19, 2008 9:21 PM

"Yep money is an issue. Who watches these shows except middle to lower class Americans - trailor trash."

I think you totally misunderstand how money is an issue regarding reality shows. You douchebag.

It's all fast food television. Cheap to make and people eat it up. I'm not above watching it like some people here pretend to be. I can't be bothered with the fake 'real' people doing nothing like Real Housewives or Real World, but I do like the competitions like Project Runway and American Idol. I just wish people would not call them reality programming and call them what they are. Talent competitions.

by Anonymousreply 35August 19, 2008 9:41 PM

I have seen re-runs of these shows listed on tv. Who gets the residuals of these shows, or is that another freebee for the studio execs?

I think some people's lives are so fucked up that they watch these shows as an escape from their reality. They sit on the sofa, eating bags of chips, drinkng coke and wish they were the 'Mole".

Variety shows like Carol Burnett or Ed Sullivan have been replaced by Gong show, and America's Got Talent.

How does this show up in our everyday lives? Fucked up Americans in the eyes of the world.

by Anonymousreply 36August 19, 2008 9:54 PM

Andy Warhol was right!

by Anonymousreply 37August 19, 2008 10:01 PM
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