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  • Shannon Warnecke

How much 'reality' is in Reality TV?

People all over the world love watching reality television.

In fact, a statistic about TV in the UK shows that 70 percent of viewers aged 4 to 65 say they have watched reality TV shows regularly.

The United States has a similar statistic. For 12- to 17-year-olds, three out of four of their favorite programs were reality TV shows.

Not only is it watched worldwide, it can be streamed to watch at any time.

So the appeal to reality TV is not surprising, but what about its effects on society? Is it healthy to watch shows dubbed “reality” but still steeped in made-up drama?

Reality TV falls into several categories - documentary, science, relationship, makeover, professional activities, celebrity reality shows, talent and game shows.

And the genre has evolved over time.

The first known reality television show was “An American Family” in 1973, and it was an instant hit, inspiring other reality shows a decade later, such as MTV’s “The Real World" featuring random young adults living together to "Survivor," a game show based around one person "surviving" the elements in remote environments and beating out the other contestants in various challenges.

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