Dirty Tricks Used to Boost Reality Shows
Dirty Tricks Used by or in Reality Shows
Lots of Dirty Tricks!
Dirty Tricks Used to Boost Reality Shows by Rod Marsden
There are a number of tried and true tricks used to boost so-called Reality shows that may be legal but are nonetheless dirty.
1. Make Sure the Show Runs Overtime.
By having a Reality show run overtime you are going to get people watching the show who wouldn't normally be watching it. There are people who have become hooked on one reality program or another through this device. Be sure though not to go overtime by the same amount of time every time you use this trick.
Unpredictability can be an aid. If you go overtime by ten minutes one night you might like to try going overtime by twenty minutes or half an hour the next night. Also have nights when you don't go overtime at all. Oh, and when the finale of the season comes up do go overtime by an hour or more. You might just be able to pick up viewers for your next season.
2. Use Theme Music or Song from a Previous Non-Reality Show.
This device may annoy viewers who loved the non-Reality show but it will get the kids who like to rag on the past. Oh, if the music or song is pretty old you should be able to pick up the copyright option to use it fairly cheap. Some studio executives might even think that you will rouse new interest in the non-Reality show by using the music or song.
3. Create Controversy.
Try to pick people for your reality show who are not likely to get on very well with each other or who are competing showoffs. You need conflict that looks spontaneous or as close to spontaneous as you can get.
If you can play a race card or a sexist card to get the viewers talking all the better. Oh, and if your compare or judges are explosive or just plain nasty then you can use this explosiveness and nastiness to create controversy. Oh, and do use sex like having a woman shave another woman's pubic hair on camera if you can get away with it and not have the show closed down.
4. Have Someone be Unfair to Contestants.
This admittedly taps into the area of being controversial but in a special way. You need an interesting villain so how about a judge who is super critical in areas where he or she should not be super critical.
How about a judge who picks on a girl singer because she is wearing braces on her teeth? How about a judge who picks on someone because they are a little overweight when he or she is no Twiggy?
How about a judge that upsets a singer so much that she goes off and commits suicide? Dirty, rotten things to do? You bet but nowadays they seem to work. There is no such thing as nurturing talent anymore. Singers and dancers in 'Reality' shows are there to be sacrificed for ratings.
5. The Phone in.
Have the audience phone in to either keep people on the show or get rid of them. Teenagers who feel powerless in their everyday lives can feel a surge of power if someone they vote off actually left or someone they voted to stay actually stayed. Oh, and do charge them as much as you can for the call. Hey! Why not make money off these phone-ins.
6. Play Games.
Invent games people can play in front of the camera. The sillier the game the better. Here you are appealing to viewers who are not likely to be rocket scientists.
7. Run Heaps of Ads.
Run heaps of ads for the show and include moments from the show that will either annoy or provoke non-Reality viewers. By doing this you get the Reality viewers defending their show and maybe turning the non-Reality people into reality watchers. Also in some ads remind people to phone people on or off if it is that sort of Reality program.
If there is going to be some nastiness or bad temper on the show do take a snippet of that and use it in an ad. If bad manners of any other sort is to be in the show perhaps run a snippet of that.
8. Success Outside the Show.
Do try to get people who have appeared or who are appearing on your show on the news or on current affairs type programs. Get them also into local clubs if that is at all possible and in the newspapers and on radio. If one of them looks cross-eyed at a reporter try to make this incident into a really, really big story.
9. Give them topics to talk about and watch them struggle.
Give contestants in house or flat settings difficult questions to answer or questions with obvious politically correct answers and see what happens. It doesn't matter if the people have no idea of what they are talking about. A percentage of the people listening won't have any idea either. Hey! You might have a budding intellectual among your cast you haven't weeded out and now is the time to weed him or her out.
10. Battle of the Sexes.
Have contests between men and women, boys and girls. Here the games may be used. If it is a case of who will eat the bug, the man or the woman, all the better. Hey! The woman might be the one to eat the bug without throwing up. In the contest of who can start a fire without matches or cigarette lighter the man might win.It doesn't really matter. Then have a big debate about the whole thing.
11. News and Current Affairs style boosts.
If you can get your reality show mentioned on the news at all it is better than a free ad. Also if you can get one or more members of your reality show playing around on a current affairs style show this is also good. Current affairs style programs are always looking for tidbits and are happy to grab the manufactured kind when better tidbits are slow coming their way.
12. Let the President or Prime Minister have their say.
If American get the current president to endorse your reality show in some way. It hasn't been done with the current president but it was done with the one before him. Even if he just mentions your show in passing that will do.
If British or Australian get the current Prime Minister to do the same. Even an unkind word from the leader of your country could be gold in the ratings. Imagine being known as the bad boy reality show that even made the President or the P.M. wince or maybe even throw up. Maybe get the queen or another member of the royal family to yap about you. Even a couple of royal corgis would be ace. This is pure gold. Hey! This sort of thing worked for Ozzy Osborne!
Reality shows don't have much to offer the little gray cells but so long as they can use dirty tricks they will continue to be shown and to be seen.
More by this Author
The Jazz Age, Josephine Baker, Ken Burns, The League of Nations, radio, the gramophone, Kangaroo, Ragtime, Ku Klux Klan, Elvis Presley, World War One, The Saint, The Great Gatsby, Pollyanna, Paris.
Bullying in the USA, Australia and France. School boy bullies. Nations throwing out democracy for dictatorship because of bullying. Religious bullies. Computer bullies. Fighting against bullying.
Standing tall and one person making a difference has long been part of the American identity. In propaganda terms it has been useful. Can one person really make a difference? John Wayne and Vietnam.