Reality TV by definition, “is essentially unscripted programming that doesn’t employ actors and focuses on footage of real events or situations.”
Maybe that’s how reality TV started out, but I’m almost 100% positive you can’t use that definition to describe “Reality TV” today!
The year was 1989, the Writers Guild of America was on strike, therefore no new television sitcoms could be released. The strike prohibited actors from acting, and all studio productions were on a tight freeze!
A young producer named John Langley came up with a bright idea! He and his buddy Malcolm Barbour some how were allowed to ride along with Police Officers with a camcorder recording hours upon hours of routine police stops, drug busts, domestic disturbance calls, you name it they recorded it!
March 11th 1989 FOX premiered these recordings on a TV show entitled “COPS”. It was a groundbreaking hit! It didn’t have all the glamour and glitz of prime time TV. The lighting was horrible, it was totally unscripted, each show went through countless hours of editing. It was the first successful Reality TV show. With this success, COPS ushered the way for shows of a similar nature to follow.
Not long after its release in 1989, the show, “America’s Most Wanted,” hit the air waves.
However it wasn’t until 1992 when MTV took reality TV to another level. With the release of “The Real World,” it was the first time that “non-actors” were purposely put in a scenario where they knew they were being recorded, and agreed to have every minute of there lives taped and edited for TV.
The ratings were phenomenal!! It was a smash hit, and MTV didn’t have to pay millions of dollars to an actor! The viewers were hooked, and so were the big wigs behind the scenes! This was a way to make millions with cheap labor!
Not long after the release of the real world, America’s appetite for reality TV only grew worse with the wall to wall coverage of the OJ Simpson trial! It was labeled “the crime of century”… It fed right into America’s ongoing affair with “Reality TV!” This was as real as it gets! We all spent countless hours in front of the TV watching OJ Simpsons life played out like a prime time drama! We were hungry for more, we started putting our own lives on hold to watch someone else’s life play out!
Reality TV has gone so commercial, it’s so much money involved, we now have actors playing as if it’s really reality TV, just to keep those of us craving our next reality “hit” watching everyday…
No longer are Hollywood A-listers the talk of the town! “Reality TV” rules the entertainment industry! Ne Ne Leakes, Jim Jones, Crissy, Shaunie, Evelyn to name a few, are all household names!
Basketball wives, Real Housewives of “everywhere,” The Bachelor, Survivor Series, Big Brother, all of these shows today have millions of viewers glued every week to their television. I believe it is a drug! Millions of Americans are addicted…
All the signs are there, try telling a fan of Real House Wives or Basketball Wives that it’s all scripted and fake! Just like a crack addict,,the initial response you’ll receive is DENIAL! Yep, if that’s you, you’re a junkie, and your drug of choice is “FAKE” reality TV.. I wanna hear from you! We can beat this, together!! 🙂
Click on the title of this post to reply! Lets discuss this crack,,umm I mean “Reality TV” epidemic! Talk 2 me!! Peace