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"Below The Yellow Line": Competitor Discourse on NBC's "The Biggest Losrer"
Unformatted Document Text:  2 series, came out of the UK in 1964. The show was a compilation of interviews with a broad cross-section of seven year olds about their reactions to life and experiences. The series has continued, returning to document the original participants in the follow up series 7 Plus Seven, 21 Up, etc. It is important to note that the series was not plot driven, but once again resulted in a staple of reality TV, turning ordinary people into celebrities. The lack of narrative structure continued in Andy Warhol’s 1966 release of Chelsea Girls, in which he filmed acquaintances going about their daily lives, a film that has blamed for reality television (London Evening Standard, 2006). The reality show format as we know it today could arguably find its lineage in the 1973 PBS series An American Family, a 12 part series which documented the disintegration of a family via divorce, as well as other interpersonal problems. The 1970s also brought shift in the traditional format of game shows, as seen with the arrival of The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game and The Gong Show. These shows not only made the format more interactive, they also changed contestant expectations and performance. These shows were built around contestants who were willing to share embarrassing and intimate details as well as perform in less than dignified manners, blurring the line between private and public behavior. Reality TV was heavily developed and expanded as a result of The Writer’s Guild Strike of 1988 which caused production companies to look for cheaper, non-scripted programming. As a result, 1989 brought the premiere of COPS, a reality show that followed police officers in real- time apprehension of criminals. This show also introduced the cinema verite, camcorder style of programing. This style was expanded on MTV, which premiered The Real World in 1992. The show is entering its 25 th season and continues to be a staple of MTV programming. The Real World puts cast members in a living situation where they encountered housemates of different

Authors: Dunning, Eric., Alsip, Mary Katherine. and Bissell, Kim.
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series, came out of the UK in 1964. The show was a compilation of interviews with a broad 
cross-section of seven year olds about their reactions to life and experiences. The series has 
continued, returning to document the original participants in the follow up series 7 Plus Seven, 
21 Up, etc. It is important to note that the series was not plot driven, but once again resulted in a 
staple of reality TV, turning ordinary people into celebrities. The lack of narrative structure 
continued in Andy Warhol’s 1966 release of Chelsea Girls, in which he filmed acquaintances 
going about their daily lives, a film that has blamed for reality television (London Evening 
Standard, 2006).
The reality show format as we know it today could arguably find its lineage in the 1973 
PBS series An American Family, a 12 part series which documented the disintegration of a 
family via divorce, as well as other interpersonal problems. The 1970s also brought shift in the 
traditional format of game shows, as seen with the arrival of The Dating Game, The Newlywed 
Game and The Gong Show. These shows not only made the format more interactive, they also 
changed contestant expectations and performance. These shows were built around contestants 
who were willing to share embarrassing and intimate details as well as perform in less than 
dignified manners, blurring the line between private and public behavior.
Reality TV was heavily developed and expanded as a result of The Writer’s Guild Strike 
of 1988 which caused production companies to look for cheaper, non-scripted programming. As 
a result, 1989 brought the premiere of COPS, a reality show that followed police officers in real-
time apprehension of criminals. This show also introduced the cinema verite, camcorder style of 
programing. This style was expanded on MTV, which premiered The Real World in 1992. The 
show is entering its 25
th
 season and continues to be a staple of MTV programming. The Real 
World puts cast members in a living situation where they encountered housemates of different 


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