Powered by i.TV
October 4, 2015


A history of reality television (part two): MTV gets real

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

real worldFrom the 1950s through the 1980s, reality television programming was a rarity on the schedules of the Big Three networks. It was more of a novelty that piqued the interest of the viewers for a few months or a few seasons, then was relegated back into the shadows while scripted shows dominated the airwaves. It wasn't until the very end of the 1980s, when FOX premiered COPS, that reality-based programming became a prime-time staple.

It stayed that way for several years. Then, just like that, it all changed, thanks to one show that premiered in 1992. With a simple program on a fairly new cable channel, reality programming went from television rarity to huge success. So much so that, in a few short years, it spawned various direct copies and variations of its concept on both the over-the-air and cable networks. By the early 21st century the airwaves were filled with more reality programming than scripted works, garnering the ire and the joy of many a long-time television viewer.

And, it all began on a network primarily known for its music videos and Pauly Shore.


Read More

Reality TV: What it is, who watches it and why it exists

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jul 9th 2008 1:01PM
what where why of reality tv
Since the early days of TV Squad, we've covered realty programming in some capacity; we published news, episode reviews and commentary on whatever had viewers talking. I think back then we were covering Survivor, American Idol and perhaps The Amazing Race. We had a decent balance of reality and non-reality posts, and everyone seemed happy.

As the years went on, that balance shifted. The reality shows we were covering were only increasing in popularity, and more shows came in to ride the wave. As we sat back and watched some of the newer shows break onto the scene with little posting from us, the readers demanded our take. The monstrosity of Reality TV was something we couldn't ignore, so we provided.

Then we reached the breaking point.

Read More

The Reality Shows Have Writers!? Award Nominees

by Jay Black, posted May 30th 2008 10:02AM
The most prestigous award in the multiverse.There's a bit by Patton Oswalt on his brain-meltingly good comedy album Feeling Kind of Patton regarding reality television. The short version: if we keep making reality shows, we will eventually run out of reality to film. (Believe me, the short version isn't even in the ballpark of how funny the bit is; go buy this album immediately).

Like Arthur C. Clarke's predictions of geostationary satellites and floating man-god fetuses, Oswalt's vision of a reality-free future is eerily accurate. While our physical space hasn't quite been eaten by a giant white wave yet, the signs of reality's destruction are as obvious as the motivations behind Tila Tequila's bisexuality. Most glaring? The very words "reality television" connote an unreal experience.

After careful consideration, we at TV Squad, along with your input, have winnowed down the hundreds of possible candidates for "most unreal reality show" to these five...

Read More

Ashley Dupr to get some class?

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 30th 2008 8:51PM
Ashley Dupr The Donald is producing a new "My Fair Lady" style reality show involving party girls attending a private boarding school, and he wants Dupré to be one of the participants. Her history must make her an ideal candidate for this show.

The show is based on a British show called Ladette to Lady, which sounds a lot like Charm School from VH1. I guess Donald wants his hard-partying girls to have class.

The show has not heard back from Dupré. Perhaps she's holding off for more cash. Maybe she's putting this in the same category as her offers from Larry Flynt and Joe Francis.

Read More

Survivor Micronesia: I Should Be Carried on the Chariot-Type Thing!

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Feb 21st 2008 11:01PM
The fans are looking defiant ... mostly.
We're three episodes into Survivor Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites and I still have trouble remembering who the one timid-looking fan is in this image. Oh, yeah. I know Krazy Kathy. And who could forget Joel?

I'm up to snuff on my faves tribe, though. But as I watched tonight's show, I happened to walk away from the set for a minute and it all came back to me. Jonathan Penner has totally stolen Alan Alda's voice. I remember it now from his season, but it's still evident. How did he do that? And, what does Alan Alda think about Jonathan Penner stealing his voice?


Read More

Big Brother 9 cast revealed

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Feb 6th 2008 7:10AM
Big Brother 9Thanks to the TV Guide website, the cast photos of the new hamsters in the Big Brother 9 house were revealed before the big reveal on today's Early Show.

According to several sources, the theme this season isn't really "dirty little secrets" -- it's "soulmates." It will be interesting who the possible soulmate would be for the one 45-year-old woman amongst all the 20-somethings.


Read More

Judging nine TV judges

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Jan 31st 2008 11:20AM
Who judges the TV judges? I do.Not to worry -- this isn't about Simon, Randy, or Paula. I'm not talking American Idol here. Nah, I'm talking real people, real cases, true litigants ... and so much more! You see, I'm generally off from my day job one weekday a week. Of course I have to watch television. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it, right?

I just never got into soap operas. Well, there was that period decades ago when I spent the summer home with a broken foot before the advent of the internet. But I digress. What I watch these days during the daytime hours tend to be the judge shows. Well, to digress a moment again -- WGN airs Homicide: Life on the Street at noon here. I can't miss that, of course. But then it's justice served. Who judges the judges? I do, naturally!


Read More

Celebrity Apprentice gets second season

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Jan 30th 2008 3:29PM
The Celebrity Apprentice logo.I didn't think he could do it, but the Donald did it. I've been a fan of The Apprentice since its first season, but I threw in the towel with last season's lackluster gimmicky Los Angeles version of this unreality show.

But I started watching again this season as the celebrity (although far from A List celebs) started playing the game donating winnings to their favorite charities. Although my favorite Gene Simmons (of KISS fame) committed Apprenticide before my very eyes, only Lost will keep me from watching it as it airs.

Read More

The Amazing Race: Cherry on Top of the Sundae That's Already Melted

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Dec 10th 2007 12:35AM
Taxi by any other name -- Amazing Race(S12E06) Darn it. I know the Amazing Race takes its episode titles from actual words uttered by the contestants on the show, but this one is downright silly. More apropos from the team at hand would have been ...

"I hate you!"
"I hate you more!"

On a side note, I'd like to see the cabs in NYC spell taxi the way it's spelled in Lithuania. Taxi without the X Factor, gotta love it. I think it would add a nice cultural influence to NYC cabs. Oh, wait. Most of the cabbies are from various countries anyway. Never mind. Let's get on with the show!

Read More

Kid Nation: Where's Bonanza, Dude?

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Dec 5th 2007 11:02PM
Alex from Kid Nation(S01E12) Oh, my. The time is really getting down there for the kiddie pioneers of Kid Nation. Next week is the season finale. So many deserving kids, so many kids who are mere faces in the crowd. Who will get the last few gold stars? Brains? Brawn? Need? Greed? What will be the criteria?

Well, they're kids, so it's hard to say. But one thing is for sure, they'll be steered by the invisible adults in the background all the way to the decision. For me, that's been the nagging flaw of the show -- the amount of adult intervention. But the most enjoyable aspect of the show is getting to know the children themselves.

Read More

The Amazing Race: We've Really Burned Bridges, for Sure

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Dec 2nd 2007 11:28PM
Kynt from The Amazing Race(S12E05) I can't help but wonder if the production staff has changed a bit for this season of The Amazing Race. The challenges seem more all-ages oriented, perhaps a bit less exciting and adrenalin-pumping when compared to some past seasons.

But I think it makes things more interesting from a cultural point of view. I've mentioned before that one reason I enjoy the show so much is due to the fact I can take a peek into other countries I might never be able to visit.

Nothing against bungee-jumping, but if you've jumped a bungee once, why do it twice? Or every season? Fresh and different is a good thing, I say.

Read More

The Amazing Race: Let's Name Our Chicken Phil

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 26th 2007 12:14AM
Kynt and Vyxsin of The Amazing Race(S12E04) Goths tend to be sincere and genuine according to Kynt of The Amazing Race. And, if one were to base his perception of Goth kind of folks just on this particular episode of the show, it would be and accurate perception indeed.

There was a lot to enjoy with the episode and the Goth couple, Kynt and Vyxsin were just a part of it. Ah, but there was a team to boo, too. That team was genuine, as well. Genuine creeps, that is!

Read More

Survivor China: It's Been Real and It's Been Fun

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 22nd 2007 11:47PM
Survivor China(S15E9A) And, if you read the title of tonight's Survivor China episode, you know the ending of it -- "It's been real and it's been fun, but it hasn't been really fun." If memory serves, that's how the saying goes. It was very apt for tonight's show, the mid-season repeat clips and previously un-aired bits they think might interest or amuse us.

I toyed with the idea of not reviewing tonight's episode, but there were a few interesting bits and pieces amongst the retreaded clips that I'd like to mention, plus it's a good time for me to reflect back on the season so far. Oh, and CBS is counting this as a new episode, silly network.

Read More

Arrests made in Top Chef assault case

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 19th 2007 7:29PM
Josie Smith-MalaveJosie Smith-Malave, a contestant on the reality television show Top Chef, was assaulted over the Labor Day weekend. The assault, allegedly by a dozen people, occurred as she and a friend were leaving a bar at the request of bar staff.

Smith-Malave, a lesbian, said the attackers repeatedly shouted gay slurs, spat on her and her friend, and hit them several times. Last week Smith-Malave filed a complaint with the Nassau County police because she thought they weren't vigorously pursuing arrests in the case. She had the names of some of the attackers, yet the police had not made any arrests at that time.

Read More

If I were to apply to be on The Amazing Race

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 18th 2007 10:15AM
Phil Keoghan, host of The Amazing RaceNow, keep in mind, this is if I were to apply to be on the The Amazing Race. I'm not saying I did it, nor am I even saying I plan to apply.

If I were to apply to be on any reality show, this would be the one. If I were on Big Brother, I'd probably hide from my whacko housemates. If I were on a dating show, I'd be the first dumped. If I were on a cooking show, they would probably make me eat foods I don't like and I'd leave in tears while gagging. Ah, but The Amazing Race?

Not that I'm applying, but I checked out the 13 page application as casting is on for the next season of the Emmy-winning reality series.

Read More

Follow Us

From Our Partners