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Why are we addicted to TV reality shows? What makes them so popular?

Updated on June 15, 2013

What makes reality shows so great?

Live television is the best television

Keeping up with the Kardashians....Biggest Loser.....Mob Wives....Intervention.....Dog the Bounty Hunter.....Say yes to the dress......The Voice....oh my! What do all of these have in common? They are watched by milliions of viewers and are a few of the most popular shows on television. Millions of viewers tune in every week to watch the shows. Reality TV has taken over our television viewing and has made sitcoms and soap opera television's past. So why are these shows so popular?

So, what makes reality shows better to watch than sitcoms or soap operas? Well, the reality of the show makes viewers watch reality shows. Viewers can relate to the stars. Viewers can identify with reality stars and their drama and the challenges they have to face. Some gain fans and some watch just to see what will happen on the next episode. Viewers enjoy the unscripted reality shows that allow them to see into the lives of another and watch the struggles and challenges that many viewers can relate to.

Reality TV and You

There seems to be reality shows on everything that you could think of. Anything that seems like it is interesting has been turned into a reality show. Millions tune in to watch reality shows to see what will happen on that episode. One of the most appealing parts of reality shows is that anyone could star in a reality show. Reality shows choose stars that are normal viewers that star in these shows. This makes reality shows even more appealing to the public, making them realize that you don't have to come from a wealthy family to become a star. It almost gives hope to a viewer that they, too, can become the next big celebrity.

There are always ways to make it on a show. Everyday people get chosen to star on reality shows all the time. On The Biggest Loser, all of the contestants become stars while they take the challenge of becoming fit. The viewers follow and cheer for them as if they know them personally. What reality shows gave the public was ordinary people that became celebrities. We, the viewers cheer for them because we feel a connection to the challenges that we face and it gives us hope that there are people that are going through the same situations.

Cheaper than a professional actor

One of the main reasons that reality shows are multiplying is the cost-effective shows that are produced every week. Producers are realizing that a reality star is cheaper than a celebrity like Jerry Seinfield. Sure... he is entertaining and viewers love him. However, it will cost a show a lot to have him as the main actor. Instead of paying millions for a actors, reality shows can get away with thousands per actor. Pretty cost-effective, huh?

Reality shows are here to stay and probably will take over every network and any scripted shows that exist on TV. One of the main reasons for fascination with reality shows is that it is real TV. Whether the show involves family-oriented activities or challenges that real people face daily, they create shows that appeal to viewers. Viewers can relate to many of the challenges and situations that reality stars face in every episode, having them tune in week after week to find out more.

Why we love Reality TV

It's not just any TV.....

One of the maiin reasons for the popularity is the reality part of the shows. Most of the scenes are NOT scripted and everyone wants to see what each character is up to that week. Each reality show has their own theme which makes the show appealing enough, but what makes all realty TV so popular are the reality stars that make the show shine. We love them. We follow them weekly and we find them lovable enough to watch every week.

There are so many reality shows on TV that there makes it difficult to watch every one. But many have favorites that they watch weekly, sometimes watch the marathons that play on weekends. Just in case viewers missed the episodes. Reality TV is here to stay and continues to capture viewers’ attentions. After all, it is not just any show. It is a reality show.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I believe people is addicted to reality show, because people want a break from their own life and they do so by living them out in the television. I bet an individual’s favorite show is the show that they’d love to be a part of. Whether directly or indirectly. I have read an article about why people flock to reality tv auditions. . Check it out. What do you think?

    • Bedbugabscond profile image

      Melody Trent 

      6 years ago from United States

      Sometimes I think my life would make a good reality TV show. Since my life is entertaining enough I don't even try to keep up with reality TV shows. I still prefer a good mystery or drama with actors, yes they cost more but I like them!

    • rjbatty profile image


      6 years ago from Irvine

      Reality shows are unwatchable. They are a cheap alternative for a regular TV series, and the studios like "cheap." I pulled the plug on my cable over ten years ago. We were paying over $70.00 per month, and watching nothing but re-runs of "The Simpsons," episodes of "Futurama" and "Smallville." I couldn't justify the cost so had our set disconnected. I haven't regretted the decision. A friend of mine lent me the entire first series that he had taped of "The Sopranos." I couldn't get through the first episode. After the series "Lost" went off the air, I rented all the seasons on DVD, and it was a pretty fun (if mind-boggling show). I do not understand the attraction for these slap-dash reality programs. If someone recommends a non-reality-show series, I'll take a chance and watch a few discs. Invariably, I am not impressed. I satisfy my entertainment needs via NetFlix mail-out DVDs, an occasional download from Amazon, and an even more rare visit to Blockbuster.

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 

      6 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Like most things, reality TV was interesting when it first appeared. I watched things like Big Brother, but soon got tired of it. I'm amazed that reality TV is still popular today. Then again, I don't really watch TV anymore, so I don't keep up to speed with trends. Good hub. Voted up etc.

    • recappers delight profile image

      recappers delight 

      6 years ago

      Well, reality shows are cheap. You don't need a script. I do think we could eventually see a backlash. The novelty is wearing off and a lot of the new ones are just bad rehashes of something done better before.


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