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> Will we ever get another massive Reality TV hit?
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Klampus
post Aug 13 2014, 04:51 PM
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Since the start of the millennium, reality TV has played a massive part in the TV landscape. Big Brother sort of led the way in this and then attention was given to singing and celebrity shows. Remarkably, most of the big reality hits today are over 10 years old. By reality TV, here I'm mainly meaning where viewers are involved with the show. So there's no Apprentice, GBBO etc.

There's a lot of talk over whether the reality TV format is dying, but I'm not here particularly to talk about that. After all, there is Big Brother, starting in 2000 and after being cancelled once, it had a shaky start on Channel 5 until a big turn around with BB14 and CBB in January. Whilst it has taken another turn for the worst, the fact it is still standing after 15 civilian series shows it is still a popular show that can still maintain success. Then we have The X Factor, which celebrates it's 10 years old this year (despite the show's claims...). Whilst that has also suffered a decline in ratings, it is still holding strong and the return of Simon and Cheryl should probably ensure a reverse of fortunes. Strictly Come Dancing started a year before The X Factor and has recently shown to be more popular than ever, possibly due to The X Factor's diminishing audience. Bruce's departure could unsettle this though. I'm A Celebrity... is a remarkably resilient show and after 12 years, it's still holding up the same ratings. Britain's Got Talent is another show still holding strong after 7 years as well.

These were all the biggest reality shows at the time that they debuted and, with the exception of Big Brother, they still are today. Some might have reduced in their ratings, but they all still show life within them but the fact is, they are all many years old and have created numerous series. There have been many failures along the way, including So You Think You Can Dance? One of the only older shows to have gone from our screens is Dancing on Ice which ended earlier this year but this was never as popular as it's counterparts anyway. Arguably, the only new reality show to give them competition with their success is The Voice. Even then, while it is still set to return for the next few years, it hasn't taken the UK by storm like the other programmes mentioned have and the only real buzz behind it is the spinning chairs. After that, no one is really bothered about it. So are we going to be left with the same 5/6 shows forever? Will we ever get another big reality show that everyone is interested in and excited about and is all over the media?

For Big Brother, the interactive element of the entire British public deciding who would be evicted and who won was one of it's massive selling points. Hence the 'who goes, you decide' catchphrase that still stands today. We could decide what could happen to ordinary people's lives. However, in the oversaturated market that has stood, and is still here today, this is now completely expected and so producers have turned to other interactive elements to keep viewers interested. At first, this was including viewers tweets (see the dreaded V Room of the Voice) but now shows are pushing towards the public immediately getting their say and removing all the dramatic waits. Yet these haven't proven to be as successful as the original viewers vote.

The X Factor tried to make the Flash Vote a new element of the show, where viewers would immediately have their say by the end of the show yet this was swiftly removed after about three weeks. The big new format that is currently pushed, and possibly the first since the Voice, is Rising Star where viewers vote whilst the contestant is singing and the results are immediately given before they have even finished singing! This has proven to be a bit of a flop in America though, and while it has yet to premiere in the UK, Channel 4's The Singer Takes it All has taken away some of it's shine by essentially being an even more glorified karaoke version of it.

Not content with deciding the fates of civillian's lives, producers turned to celebrities. It was only fitting really what with many of the civillian's themselves becoming celebrities. We've had Celebrity Big Brother (the most notable series being Jade/Shilpa which was all over the news), Strictly Come Dancing and I'm a Celebrity. However, we've also had Celebrity Wrestling, Celebrity Super Spa, The X Factor: Battle of the Stars and Splash. The latest celebrity show, Tumble, also hasn't proven to be that much of a success. Again, we haven't had a new successful celebrity reality series in a long time while the old favourites are still leading the pack and are possibly becoming more successful than ever.

Therefore, with these reality giants still standing strong after all this time and new reality shows being introduced without much care about them, will we ever get a massive reality TV hit again like we did with the X Factor/Big Brother/Strictly etc. The problem may lie with the new reality shows having to rely on gimmicks to stand out which is why we have spinning chairs and Rising Star's interactive elements. However, these purely are gimmicks and so the shows haven't proven to be success's out of that. The lasting success of the older series might be down to the familiarity of them and people believing they are original in what they are doing, even if the shows may have taken inspiration from elsewhere in their creation. Copycat shows probably only strengthen the older shows success.

Personally, I don't believe there will be another massive hit, at least not for the next few years. Once these older shows have dyed out, there will be the thirst for new shows and that's when we'll have another success on our hands.

-~-

I've never really done a massive essay post before but a thought came into my head the other day and I wanted to explore it and hear people's thoughts!
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post Aug 13 2014, 04:57 PM
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Great post.

That whole type of TV has been in decline for years now over here though.
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Klampus
post Aug 13 2014, 08:46 PM
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I would agree it's been in decline in terms of impact but the ratings are still steady, especially for Strictly and I'm a Celeb. The X Factor and BGT are dropping slightly and will definitely never reach the 15 million+ ratings they previously achieved for the finals. I do think that Strictly and The X Factor's fate depends on what they do this year. Strictly may struggle without Bruce and if the X Factor still doesn't improve with Simon and Cheryl, this contract will be it's last.

I think there will always be a thirst for this type of programming though and that's why I think the next big show, if we get one, will come once all the current big ones have dyed off.
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Slade
post Aug 13 2014, 09:06 PM
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Yeah I agree! I think people do get bored with the same old format, but can't help but get swept away with it like the rest of the nation. I can't really see another HUGE reality show breaking out for a while, the newest one you mentioned to be a hit, BGT, started in 2007 and there hasn't been any big success reality shows since there (with The Voice UK turning out to be a bit of a flop).
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Klampus
post Aug 13 2014, 09:16 PM
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QUOTE(Jade @ Aug 13 2014, 10:06 PM) *
I think people do get bored with the same old format, but can't help but get swept away with it like the rest of the nation.

This is a very good point! The amount of people that complain about these types of shows yet they still end up being the highest rated of the year. I guess it's addictive programming and they want to keep up with the office/school talk, which I guess could be a reason as to why it's hard for new reality shows to break out ie there's not that need to watch them as it probably won't be talked about that much.
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Rooney
post Aug 21 2014, 11:30 PM
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Even though BGT & X Factor are not monster 'hits' like they used to be, if you see a list of the highest rated television programmes throughout the year, bar major sporting events, I bet you both of their finals will make up the top five. They're still massive powerhouses, and regularly take up lots of column inches and discussions on the internet. I think it's also important to realise the changing landscape of how we consumer television. Ten years ago there were less channels, a lot of people still had terrestrial television iirc - in 2014 everyone has at least 20-30 channels, if not hundreds. Plus think how many people now multi record programmes, watch online etc. - just everything in general is becoming less structured, and people can consume television when we want, not when TV channels tell us to.

As to the question, I do believe there will be another major reality event. I've no idea what it will be, but I've no doubt someone will come up with something that will completely re-invent the forumla. I expect it have something to do with social media. A few things will probably get comissioned and not work out (i.e. the latest reality TV signing competitions, and especially that new interactive one) but eventually I expect somebody will pull all the parts of shows that do work in to something new and exciting.
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Suedehead2
post Aug 23 2014, 10:27 PM
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QUOTE(Rooney @ Aug 22 2014, 12:30 AM) *
Even though BGT & X Factor are not monster 'hits' like they used to be, if you see a list of the highest rated television programmes throughout the year, bar major sporting events, I bet you both of their finals will make up the top five. They're still massive powerhouses, and regularly take up lots of column inches and discussions on the internet. I think it's also important to realise the changing landscape of how we consumer television. Ten years ago there were less channels, a lot of people still had terrestrial television iirc - in 2014 everyone has at least 20-30 channels, if not hundreds. Plus think how many people now multi record programmes, watch online etc. - just everything in general is becoming less structured, and people can consume television when we want, not when TV channels tell us to.

As to the question, I do believe there will be another major reality event. I've no idea what it will be, but I've no doubt someone will come up with something that will completely re-invent the forumla. I expect it have something to do with social media. A few things will probably get comissioned and not work out (i.e. the latest reality TV signing competitions, and especially that new interactive one) but eventually I expect somebody will pull all the parts of shows that do work in to something new and exciting.

Some of us can remember the days when there were only three channels and no way of recording anything. If you couldn't see a programme when it was shown, you just had to hope there would be a repeat laugh.gif
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