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October 24, 2014

Dealiest Catch

A history of reality television (part eight): Family, work ... and the future

by Richard Keller, posted Jul 9th 2008 6:00PM

Little People Big World is one of the family-based reality programs now on TV.Family and the workplace -- two constants in everyday American society. They are the places where we spend most of our lives. Sometimes we spend more time at one over complaints of the other. Other times, we barely want to spend time at either location.

Because these are so important to many people across this country, it made sense that television would delve into both of these environments during the Reality Revolution. However, since a 60-minute show about a senior technical analyst sitting in his four square-foot cube was not likely to draw in the audience, the reality shows that were created focused on those families and workplaces that were a tad more unique. Thusly, shows were created around well-to-do families, celebrity families, or families with multiple children, while workplace shows dealt in tattoos, motorcycles, hair styling, and house-flipping.

Coming in later than the game operas and relationship shows, these family and workplace programs ushered in a new phase of the Reality Revolution and set the stage for the future of reality programming.

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