Reality television has become one of the fastest and widest growing groups of shows to air on the tube. It has begun to set a popular trend and is growing in the number of viewers annually, ranging from many topics and aired on multiple channels.
According to an article in USA Today, titled TV’s first reality show teaches Loud lesson, the first (and best) reality series ever produced: PBS’ An American Family” and it was the “obvious predecessor to MTV’s The Real World.” The latter was the show that seemed to have sparked the series of these types of reality programs debuting all over the television channels. Producers began to experiment using different themes and different target audiences in order to make a successful series that could continue to air for more than one season.
MTV came up with a lot of series of a similar nature to “The Real World” of people living in the same house, with tensions building up, since this factor seemed to draw audiences in. Subsequently, shows such as “Survivor” and “America’s Next Top Model” aired and gained a lot of popularity. Then a whole chain of talent oriented shows began to air, such as “Star Search” for all kinds of talents and then specialized contests such as “American Idol” for singers only. “American Idol” is going strong after several seasons, producing singers with a record deal at the end of each season. Other contestants are also getting a foot in the door of the music industry even without having the title of “Idol.”
Why are viewers so interested in watching people compete, battling week after week for survival on a show that has the same theme season after season? Don’t the challenges become mundane after a while? Evidently, this is not so, as the number of people tuning into these shows actually increases, as shown by the collective amount of votes and ratings the particular show is receiving.
Personally, I like the sequence of the reality dance competitions. I’m a devoted viewer of “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Dancing With The Stars,” and “America’s Favorite Dance Crew” and I try not to miss an episode. Not only are these shows interesting to me because I’m a dancer myself, but they are just entertaining for the general audiences. The dancers and the performances are amazing, and the level of professionalism is stunning. In addition, the way everything is set up for the viewers in between the dance numbers is amusing and comical. The dancers and the host as well as the panel of judges on these shows seem well educated, enthusiastic and good-humored. These types of shows are pleasant to watch, because they are not the scandalous reality television shows that builds the number of viewers based on controversy. Although these maybe of interest to a lot of people, I really enjoy the types of shows that show competitions of talent.