Consuming Reality: The Commercialization of Factual Entertainment
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Deery Consuming Reality. The Commercialization of Factual Entertainment.
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Shop Our Brands. All Rights Reserved. Cancel Submit. On Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," Teresa Giudice launched a line of cookbooks and hair products after flipping over a table at a dinner party.
Beauty pageant participant Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson became a household name after the TLC network created a show capitalizing on her family's redneck stereotypes. On MTV, the nastiest "Real World" contestants are often the ones invited back each year for an athletic competition show that can sometimes feel like the cast is reliving their cruelest high school memories. TV networks are drawn to the shows because they are relatively inexpensive to produce.
Reality TV 'stars' find their path to fame through bad behavior
You haven't lost that much money," said James Wiltz, a licensed psychologist in Indiana who has studied reality TV viewership. But what do viewers get out of it? Why do they love to watch these people misbehave? For one thing, anything taboo always has a certain seductive quality, said Jim Taylor, a University of San Francisco professor who has studied reality television.
For others, the shows are aspirational. That doesn't mean reality TV is a positive distraction. A growing body of research suggests watching people act like jerks on TV inspires others to be less kind or sympathetic.