"Loving to Hate Reality TV"
Throughout the semester, I have been writing about different reality programs, some effects of reality shows, and trends within the reality television business. Well, one trend that I have noticed that has prevailed in many of the blogs I have written is that reality television is continuing to be very popular and is not on the down fall anytime soon. In an article titled "Loving to Hate Reality TV" (May 3,2006) by Dino-Ray Ramos states that according to "a survey by PollingPoint.com, almost half of our nation's younger generation watches more reality television than last year. Eighteen to 25-year-olds watch close to four reality shows a week." Also, the "over 55 'category' keep up with at least two reality shows a week." So, reality television is strongly popular with a wide variety of ages because of all of the different kinds of reality shows available. At first when I read the statistics, I didn't really agree with the whole four reality shows a week for my age group; I thought that there was no way that I would watch that many in one week, but as I recalled all of the reality shows I was presently watching, I realized that reality shows do consume a mass amount of my television viewing time, especially shows on MTV. Also within the article, Ramos stated that "RTV (reality TV) is a form of therapy to escape our own version of reality" because when watching reality shows, we "live vicariously through the "characters" on the show". We may really hate the characters and the way they act or because all of the drama they bring to the show, but these are the characters that make the show worth watching just to see what they will do next, or sometimes they remind us of people we know, so we connect with the show. This article brought some great insight into the connection of the American people and their "addiction" to reality television. So, for my last blog, I would just like to leave you with a quote from the article that I felt made me really thing about what reality television is doing to people and families; "the days of wholesome family fun have turned into nothing but a bunch of competitions, shallow arguments, and a landfill of D-list celebrity garbage to provide water cooler talk the next day. Either this type of television is an evolution in entertainment or a devolution of American culture."Article available at http://www.alternet.org/wiretap/35760/
National Spelling Bee
For all of the reality television lovers out there, ABC will be hosting an "original reality TV" show on its prime time slot. This so called "reality show" has been around for "seventy-nine years" and this will be the "first time it will air in a prime time slot" for all of the viewing public to watch. So, what is this long time running "reality show"; it is none other than the National Spelling Bee. It might not seem like a typical reality show, but it still has the true life drama of children struggling to spell difficult words in order to be deemed the Spelling Bee champion, win some really cool prize and receive scholarship money. America will get a true look into what a spelling bee means for these children and how competitive the playing field is. I think that while it might not sound like the most exciting type of reality show, it is a true reality show; there is no editing done or participants paid to act a certain way. What you see is the actual event happening, none of the drama or participants answered are previously planned out. I think that this demonstrates that it is in fact a very truthful reality show unlike most of the reality shows that are broadcasted today. Article: "National Spelling Bee comes to prime time" found at http://msnbc.com/id/12601027/
"Global reality TV market"
Last weekend, in an article titled UO conference examines global reality TV market by Jennifer McBride, it was stated that there was a "three-day conference on globalization and television...to discuss the international popularity of reality TV". Realtiy television has become such a big phenomena not only in the United States but all around the world. Many of the popular reality shows that have appeared in the U.S. have now been made into spin-offs for reality shows in many different countries. Reality television has been expanding into many new countries and continues to be a huge medium in countries like the U.S. and Great Britian, which are swamped with new and returning reality series. Within the article, a Fox executive was quoted with saying that "creating reality television was so easy and profitable it was "like broadcasting with a safety net"." Also, Jennifer McBride stated that it was "popular among producers because of its recognizability, its minimal cost and its low production time". So, not only are reality shows super popular with there viewing audience, but they are strongly favored by production companies-this is why so many people have implemented reality television to places all over the world. This goes to show that reality television is only on the uprise right now and it could be awhile before it loses its popularity. Article available at: http://www.dailyemerald.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/04/25/444dec9ec3dac
"God or the Girl"
Reality television has now been invaded by religion. In an article titled 'God or the Girl': Catholic Priesthood hits reality TV by Catherine Hours states that a new reality show has been created; it features "four aspiring young Catholic priests" in their "final four weeks before they decide...to take the vow of chastity". According to the channel that this new reality series will air on, A and E cable channel, this show will be about "the ultimate struggle between the choices of two goods". So, what could be the possible reasons that the church would want to team up with the world of reality television? As stated by Catherine Hours, "the show has given the church an opportunity to advertise itself to a new audience". Even the church is using the popular medium of reality television to try and attract new members. I guess I never really thought of a church using a television show to advertise itself to an audience, but as mentioned by Robert Thompson, a Syracuse University Professor, "a reality show about joining priesthood is more marketable then a documentary because reality TV people can more readily manipulate reality that documentary makers". So, the church is just figuring out that by using the popular medium, they are able to market themselves more sucessfully to the public; this really shows the direction and effects that reality television is taking its audience. The article is available at: http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__international_news/&articleid=270159
"The Apprentice" and Capitalism
In an article posted on the site http://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/ states that "Japanese won't have its own version of "The Apprentice" because of its "distinictive form of capitalism"." The fact that the Japanese refuse to allow a reality show that resembles "The Apprentice" shows that reality shows have a great effect on their viewers. In the article, the main reason why the Japanese are not allowing such a program is because it goes against their beliefs. By showing this reality show to the citizens, it could change the citizen's current belief on the capitalism issue and in turn, change the type of government or the government's power. Reality television has a great effect on people all over the world who view it, and this example shows how reality television could effect the way a country runs its economy and the lengths that a nation will go to to avoid having such a reality show shown within their country. In conclusion, reality television is able to change viewers ideas or viewpoints on specific topics; it is also a very powerful tool when it comes to presenting certain ideas and viewpoints.
eBay and Reality Television
In an article titled "eBay Makes Bid for Reality TV, Primetime Show Will Air on ABC" by David Goetzl (Media Daily News, April 19, 2006) states that the "internet auction giant eBay is entering television production as a partner in a new ABC reality show...'Make It Happen'". The teaming up of an internet site and television company really shows the sucess that reality television continues to have and also how profitable reality television is for companies willing to give it a shot. For eBay, they are using their internet auction site as part of the reality show by having people donate items and then having those same items auctioned off to whom ever bids on them. The money made from the auctioned off items is given to people to help reach their dream. The main hope of this reality show for eBay is to get more people to visit their auction site and bid on items featured on the site. This is the big pay off for companies who associate themselves with reality shows-more publicity and a chance to expand themselves by using a reality show. Article available at http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=42425
Identifying with Reality Shows
In a book titled "Reality TV" in an article Teenagers Identify with the Issues Presented in Reality TV Shows by David Hiltbrand states that two reasons why teenagers are readily able to identify with reality shows are because the shows are "short" and "often deal with relationships and rejection." So, teenagers are being drawn into the world of reality television because they can easily relate to the emotions and situations of the reality show stars, like trying to avoid rejection by making friends and/or alliances. Also in the article, David Hiltbrand quotes that the "top three of four shows watched by teens" are reality programs. This statisic really shows the effect of reality television on teenagers and the fact that reality television is greatly consumed by teenagers today. So, there must be something about reality shows that make them able to pull in such a large group of teenagers, and that would be the fact that they are able to identify with reality show contestants which makes the reality show more enjoyable and realistic.