The Reality Behind Reality TV

Karen Wright

Cut to present-day television viewing. Press the guide button on your TV remote and you will notice that the most popular genre of shows are now “Reality.” And while almost every person will declare that reality television is not real, a startling number of new shows are constantly being produced because there are viewers to receive them. Even as naysayers publicly castigate Juan Pablo Galavis, the latest bachelor on the hit ABC “reality” series, the franchise just wrapped up its 18th season, with the next bachelorette already selected to star in the hit spin-off. 

When the Laughter Stopped: Remembering Television’s Halcyon Days

Mark Bizzell

Reality television shows such as SurvivorDancing with the Stars, and American Idol have been on top of the Nielsen TV ratings for more than a decade, a place where situation comedies used to sit.  While some comedy staples of the past few years, notably Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory, have stellar ratings and critical acclaim, they are not as groundbreaking as the comedies of the past.  Early 1970s sitcoms, like the highly rated All in the Family and Maude, dealt with social issues that networks now won’t touch in today’s hyper-partisan environment. 

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