Far from conveying a healthy dose of reality – reality television has become an easy medium to fill empty timeslots with minimal creativity and effort. It has also become quite profitable for franchise series which can easily be adapted to local audiences. However, local version spinoffs don’t stop there – The Biggest Loser, a weight loss TV program even has spin offs on some of their local versions, such as The Biggest Loser Teens. Similarly, The Voice has attempted to fill the off-season void by recording The Voice: Kids in many places around the world.
It seems every profession and skill has its own reality TV program, like Cooking (MasterChef), Baking (Great British Bake Off), Dancing (Dancing with the Stars & So You Think You Can Dance), Singing (The Voice & Idol), Building (The Block), Modelling (Project Runaway & Next Top Model), Business (The Apprentice), Fishing (Deadliest Catch), Truck Driving (Ice Road Truckers), Life Guards (Bondi Rescue), Pawn Shop Brokers (Pawn Stars), Health Care (Embarrassing Bodies) and Policing (COPS).
Then there are more genres that extend to Infidelity (Cheaters), Bargain/Auction Hunting (Auction Hunters), Repossession (Operation Repo), Tattoos (Miami Ink), Makeovers (Extreme Makeover), Dating (The Bachelor), Teen Parenting (Teen Mom), Pest Control (Verminators) and Surviving (Doomsday Peppers & Man vs. Wild). The list is endless. However, the demise of quality reality television programming began when “documentary-style” shows aired. These are shows that are popular on MTV and feature a close knit group of socialites interacting in their everyday life (Real Housewives, Made in Chelsea and Geordie /Jersey Shore among others).
The compelling attraction of reality television hasn’t escaped Asia or the rest of the world. South Korea is a key culprit in the East with equally successful series such as Dad! Where Are We Going?, Running Man and We Got Married. However, on the bright side a recently debuted show Back To My Face is hoping to challenge South Korea’s love affair with plastic surgery, by focusing on people who want to reverse the effects of their excessive habit. Therefore, the question remains – has television been saturated with reality television programs or will the genre continue to thrive? Will reality TV survive by spinning off more varieties of the same show or are we about to be inundated with a new format which will once again be franchised around the world to keep us happy?