Reality TV Dominates Broadcast Programming/Falling Ratings Force Networks to Find New Ways to Distribute Content, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Reality TV programming began with the comic Candid Camera show in 1948.  Host Allen Funt filmed unwitting people reacting to rigged situations such as talking mailboxes.  Far less humorous but riveting television aired on PBS in 1973 when An American Family showed the unscripted breakdown of a marriage and the coming-out of a homosexual son.  The show attracted 10 million viewers.  More recently, unscripted life has been caught on videotape in shows such as MTV's Real World and Fox’s America's Most Wanted.  Other reality formats, including Big Brother, were pioneered in Europe during the late 1990s. Today, reality shows such…

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