Reality television (TV) is a term applied to a collection of programmes that are concerned with the everyday life of ordinary people. The term is difficult to define owing to the slightly different cultural connotations it has, having been used at various times and in different geographic contexts. A working definition may be taken to be popular factual programmes that are concerned in some way with the actions and reactions of real people. This entry provides an overview of reality TV, including its historical roots, early 21st-century manifestations, and the production processes involved. As well, this entry examines changing attitudes toward audience consumption of the genre, which have emerged as an area of academic interest as have the sociopolitical implications of the genre.

Historical Roots

The ...

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