Skip to content

Reality TV Show Formats: From Competition to Docuseries

Reality TV can get a bad reputation for being all about drama and outrageous behavior. While this is often the case, there are also more positive reality TV show formats that offer a platform for people to learn, develop skills, and even pursue their dreams.

But what are the different formats and how did reality tv develop into the many different formats we can watch today?

What is the history of Reality TV?

Reality television has its roots in the early days of television entertainment. The first known instance of a reality TV show is the American series Candid Camera, which debuted on August 10th, 1948, and featured unsuspecting people being caught in humorous situations. This influence can be seen in current-day shows such as Impractical Jokers and Punk’d.

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, television shifted from a medium of entertainment to one of documentary-style programming. This included nature documentaries, investigative journalism pieces, and educational shows like Howdy Doody’s Meet the Press. By the 1970s, a new genre had emerged: reality TV. The first major reality TV show was An American Family, which aired on PBS in 1973 and documented the lives of one family.

The mid-1980s saw a huge surge in the popularity of reality TV with shows such as The Real World (1992), Survivor (2000), and Big Brother (2000). These shows focused less on everyday life and more on competition or physical endurance. This was the beginning of the modern era of reality TV, which is still popular today.

Today, reality TV continues to be a major part of television entertainment in both the US and around the world. The genre has evolved to include talent shows, home improvement programs, and other unique series that bring viewers out of their living rooms and into the world of reality television. From its humble beginnings in Candid Camera, to its current-day iterations, reality TV has become an integral part of the modern entertainment landscape.

Whether you’re a fan or not, it’s hard to deny that reality TV shows have had a major impact on television history and popular culture as a whole.

What are the different formats of Reality TV shows?

Reality television shows come in many different formats. Generally, these can be divided into two main categories: competition and non-competition.

Competition reality TV shows are focused on competitions between contestants. This type of show may involve physical or mental challenges such as cooking, singing, or answering trivia questions. Examples of this include Top Chef, The Voice, and Jeopardy. There’s also the vastly popular Bachelor series or similar dating shows such as Love Island and Are You The One.

Competition shows come in many different genres, too. There are cooking competitions, dating competitions, singing competitions, and even dance competitions. There are also some shows that combine multiple elements into one large competition such as The Amazing Race.

Docuseries, which are non-competition shows that follow the lives of a specific group of people, make up the other type of reality TV show. These shows often focus on unique situations such as surviving in the wilderness or living life with a large family. Examples include Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Dance Moms, and Life Below Zero.

This style of reality show can be about anything you can think of. From living with a rock star to running a business, if you can dream it, there’s likely a show about it.

Reality TV shows also come in other formats, such as makeover shows like Queer Eye or home renovation series like Fixer Upper. There are even shows that focus on the supernatural like Paranormal Challenge or Ghost Files.

Regardless of the format, all reality TV shows are designed to draw viewers in and provide an entertaining viewing experience.

How do you decide on a format for your reality show?

When creating a reality TV show, it’s important to decide on the format first. Do you want to focus on competition or documentary-style content? While both types of shows can be successful, each has its own unique challenges and considerations.

If you choose a competition-based show, consider how contestants will be selected, what type of challenge they will face, and how rewards will be awarded. Also, think about the rules of the game and how challenges will be judged.

If you choose a documentary-style format, consider what type of people or stories you want to focus on as well as how best to capture their lives on camera. Think about which aspects of their lives are most interesting and relevant for viewers and what type of editing techniques you may need to use in order to tell a compelling story.

No matter which format you choose, it’s important to plan out the details as much as possible before filming begins. This will help ensure that your show is engaging, entertaining, and successful.

Why should you work with a production studio on your next reality show?

Working with a production studio is the best way to ensure that your reality TV show is well-produced and successful. And working with C&I Studios is a great option!

Production studios like C&I Studios have years of experience in creating and managing shows, so they can help you with everything from pre-production planning to post-production editing. They can also advise you on what format will work best for your show concept and how to market it to viewers.

Production studios also have access to the best equipment and resources needed for a successful show. They are experienced in finding locations, casting talent, and coordinating crew members so that everything runs smoothly on set.

In addition, production studios often have connections in the industry that can help get your show noticed by networks or online streaming platforms.

To sum up…

Reality TV has a long history that dates back to the early days of television. The genre has evolved to include a wide variety of formats, from competition shows to docuseries and even home improvement programs. Whether you like it or not, reality TV is here to stay and continues to be an important part of entertainment programming in many countries around the world.

If you’re ready to begin planning your next reality show, contact C&I Studios today!

Hide picture