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Reality TV

The genre currently known as reality television emerged with the broadcast of the first series of Big Brother in the Netherlands in 1999. The concept merged audience surveillance and manipulation of participants, or “housemates,” and the celebrification of the ordinary (made celebrities out of the ordinary) as the content consists of the nominally routine activities of nonactors. While broadcast media includes a long history of consumer involvement and the incorporation of the everyday into entertainment, reality TV introduced new production methods and direct consumer participation. These new patterns of production and consumption persist through variations such as the Idol and Top Model programs over time and have been adopted on a global scale through local syndication. Theoretical implications of these developments draw in theories of ...

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