The creative ways in which the varied direct involvement aspect has been included by producers in the genre also has to do with technology. Programs where the audience participates in decision making, like when the audience chooses a winner in a program via voting on site or by cell phone text messages are common, as are other audience participation tactics, like on new themed game shows when the audience gives a hint to the contestant and the contestant can then view the percentages of answers. These are just a few examples of how the industry has answered the audience participation draw of the reality genre, though the same research derived study also found that voyeurism is a secondary and limited aspect of the draw to reality TV.
Papacharissi, and Mendelson 355)
Viewers valued the entertainment and habitual pass time motives over that of voyeurism, which was fairly surprising, considering that popular folklore frequently describes vicarious living through reality characters as one of the top appeals of reality TV. Still, this does not imply that voyeurism is not present as a motive and possible gratification obtained from watching reality TV; it is present, but not the most important motive. This is consistent with the findings of Nabi et al. (2003), who found that curiosity was not a significant motive for studying reality television, and Reiss and Wiltz (2004), who perceived voyeurism as only a means to attaining fundamental motives. Either voyeurism is not the most popular motive for watching reality TV, or respondents are reluctant to report voyeuristic tendencies on a self-report measure like a survey, for fear that it might be perceived as socially undesirable.
Papacharissi, and Mendelson 355)
Reality television is a way for the public to interact with one of their favorite media pastimes, television. It is in fact investment that keeps people watching, rather than the desire to see how others live in a private setting.
The cooperation between reality and drama is clearly evidence in the genre, and most adults can discern that given the venue of the program it is more or less driven by the context creation and the editing process. One aspect of the genre that has yet to be discussed in the literature, that have found is how individual characters within the programs support or contradict individual behaviors. In other words are people more drawn to programming where individuals within it can be perceived to be more or less like themselves? What is true and can be easily evidenced is that reality television is exceedingly popular.
If the networks are addicted to the profits of reality television, audiences are likewise hooked on the product. These shows are among the most popular on the schedule. In a typical week during the period when the survey was administered, March 8-14, 2004, reality programming filled 4 of the top 10 slots of most watched shows, according to Nielsen Media Research ("Top Ten," 2004). In January 2004, reality shows on FOX, CBS, ABC, and the WB easily beat each network's average ratings in the 18- to 34-year-olds demographic (Adalian, 2004). As a further testament to reality television's prominence, in 2003 the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences gave its first award in the category "Outstanding Reality/Competition Program" to the Amazing Race.
Leone, Peek, and Bissell 253)
As Hill points out early in her work "reality television" is not mean to be real and such a controversy is relatively mute as it does not bode well with the viewer, who would rather just watch it and accepts what they wish to be true and the producers who would rather just keep making it and making money off it. Though some are concerned about the effects such television might have on children, who might be predisposed to believe it over other types of television because it is labeled "reality."
Davies 1) the overall response by the public is positive as more and more programs percolate through the whole of the television media and viewership continues to increase.
Davies, Maire Messenger. Fake, Fact, and Fantasy: Children's Interpretations of Television Reality. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997.
Hill, Annette. Reality TV: Audiences and Popular Factual Television. New York: Routledge, 2005.
Leone, Ron, Wendy Chapman Peek, and Kimberly L. Bissell. "Reality Television and Third-Person Perception." Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 50.2 (2006): 253.
Papacharissi, Zizi, and Andrew L. Mendelson. "An Exploratory Study of…