Reality TV

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Routledge, Nov 13, 2014 - Social Science - 184 pages

Reality TV is popular entertainment. And yet a common way to start a conversation about it is ‘I wouldn’t want anyone to know this but...’ Why do people love and love to hate reality TV?

This book explores reality TV in all its forms - from competitive talent shows to reality soaps - examining a range of programmes from the mundane to those that revel in the spectacle of excess. Annette Hill’s research draws on interviews with television producers on the market of reality TV and audience research with over fifteen thousand participants during a fifteen year period.

Key themes in the book include the phenomenon of reality TV as a new kind of inter-generic space; the rise of reality entertainment formats and producer intervention; audiences, fans and anti-fans; the spectacle of reality and sports entertainment; and the ways real people and celebrities perform themselves in cross-media content.

Reality TV explores how this form of popular entertainment invites audiences to riff on reality, to debate and reject reality claims, making it ideal for students of media and cultural studies seeking a broader understanding of how media connects with trends in society and culture.


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List of figures
Big Brother moment
Performance of the self
Reality TV experiences
Reality and sports entertainment
Reality bites

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About the author (2014)

Annette Hill is a Professor of Media at Lund University, Sweden. Her research focuses on audiences, with interests in media experiences, everyday life, genres and cultures of viewing. Her most recent book is Paranormal Media (2011). Her forthcoming title is Media Experiences (2016).

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