Reality Television


Today’s viewers are so crazy love reality program, not only due to the prize gaining, but also because reality TV allows viewers to fantasize about gaining status through automatic fame. Ordinary people can watch the shows, see people like themselves and imagine that they too could become celebrities by being on television. It does not matter as much that the contestants often are shown in an unfavorable light; the fact that millions of viewers are paying attention means that the contestants are important. And, in fact, some of the contestants have capitalized on their short-term celebrity: Colleen Haskell, from the first Survivor series, has a major role in the movie The Animal, and Richard Hatch, the scheming contestant who won the game, has been hired to host his own game show. Moreover, through participating in reality program, people could touch the different cultures, make more friends, visit other places, and enlarge their knowledge. Ordinary people could realize their dreams in the reality show. And the message of reality television is that ordinary people can become so important that millions will watch them. Today’s viewers might be new celebrities tomorrow!


Marketers recently turn their focuses into reality TV, because it is definitely good business that can generate huge revenue. As people simply enjoy watching other people’s lives as well as enjoy being on television enough to go on for free, it cuts both writers and actors out of the costs of a show. It has a remarkable bottom-line effect: ironically, viewers don\'t seem to miss the money spent on most sitcom and drama scripts. In any case, the latter works are better expressed in the form of motion pictures, which are still popular when aired on network television. Relative low cost and simple structure of real show save marketers’ money and time, however the increasing popularity allows marketers to make a quick sell after program become well-known. How profitable reality TV? According to Myles P. Breen (2004): Australian soap operas such as Neighbors and Home and Away have achieved high ratings in such countries as England and Ireland. And while the Grundy Organization, the largest television show producer, make profit by borrowing concepts and formats form American show, and then sell to their country.


Temptation Island was featured on the cover of People magazine; Big Brother aired five days a week and could be viewed on the Web 24 hours a day; and the Survivor finale dominated the front page of the New York Post after gaining ratings that rivaled those of the Super Bowl. These signs today’s networks seem hooked on so-called reality television—programs. Usually, networks are well-known for their noticeable programs. In this case, networks today are so interested in reality TV, because they know these programs will establish them good reputations within a short period. The increasing popularity of reality TV means it accounts for a larger percent of viewers than any other programs. This tells networks: an only way to promote them is through reality TV shows. For instance, Channel 4 is famous for Big Brother; Temptation Island promotes Fox; and Survivor makes CBS well-known. A good reputation will attract more advertisements, and generate more profits.


As reality TV shows are so popular around the worldwide, many countries are importing concepts and formats from producer companies. No matter importing or exporting the formula of reality shows, some cultural factors have to be taken into consideration carefully. Firstly, the culture myths should be carefully examined before exporting. For example, Japanese people has a busy life, they will spend more time on news, stocks, business, ect rather than reality show- time consuming programs. In this case, exporting Big Brother to Japan may not be profitable than to Australia. Secondly, country’s ritual and people’s living habit are needed to be considered within the formula. For instance, exporting outdoor reality shows to sports lover countries such like Australian is better than providing them some indoor TV programs. Thirdly, the languages on the reality show should be pay attention on. Although most people on shows speak English, each country has its own idioms. The variety in English will lead to misunderstanding. Finally, the important factor is to understand people’s belief of this country. If the formula against with their