The emphasis of reality television is on intense emotionality, exaggeration and sensationalism.
It has been said to be historically rooted in the "penny press" of the 1830s the "dime novels" of the 1870s and the "yellow journalism" of the early 20th century.
Instead of sitting down and watching carefully constructed plots where every detail has been mapped out we are now tuning into the unpredictability that is reality TV.
It's amazing how such a simple idea has created such a huge fan base.
They have also produced a spin off called Road Rules where five strangers have adventures and try to win prizes while traveling around in a mobile home.
Typically docu-dramas, invented or composite characters, and dialogue are excluded from the reality TV category.
For the sake of this project we will focus primarily on reality shows made within the last few years.
MTV has produced the Real World for more than nine years, a show about "Seven strangers who are picked to live in a house, to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start being real." These types of shows seem to be a combination of documentary film, soap opera, serial drama and cinema.
MTV did not radically change the form of this genre but adapted it to a particular audience that came to expect a certain style of programming, with quick edits and rock soundtracks.