What Type of Reality TV Shows Have an Upper Hand

If a line says anything about the face of reality TV, you will find none better than the words of Mark Burnett which says; “There’s nothing like biting off more than you can chew, and then chewing anyway.” He is a pioneer in reality TV; if the type of success attained by the shows he has made are anything to go by!

After watching all your favorite reality shows one after the other, you might just ask what type gets the upper hand. From The Apprentice to the Masterchef series, Extreme Makeover to The Biggest Loser, each comes with its own portrayal of man’s behavior. Inspired or determined, passive-aggressive or just plain bitchy, all the contestants go through whatever torture devices that the show producers can come up with. And we get to see it all, from the comfort of our sofas and behind our TV dinners! If you look at it with optimism, watching TV has never been better!

The Best in Reality TV

Let’s take a look at the biggest grossing reality TV shows over the past decade and review the changing trends that took place.

Whatever the challenge may be, whatever obstacles may stand in one’s way, the sense of achievement after you win each round is exhilarating. Viewers love to watch people battle each other to gain the coveted final prize. Whether it’s a cooking contest like Hell’s Kitchen or an endurance competition like The Amazing Race, a viewer will generally pick his/her favorite and root for them till the end. It’s the positive result after an episode filled with trials and tribulations that keeps the viewer hooked. Survivor: Borneo picked up a record 18 million viewers on its second week on air. Shows like The Bachelor and Temptation Island present an alternate

Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel

Ghost Adventures, a paranormal, documentary-style reality television show on the Travel Channel, is hugely popular. Perhaps this is because of the history the sites they visit contain, or perhaps it is because people are sincerely interested in ghost sightings. Either way, millions of viewers tune in to watch the show every week. The ghost hunters, Zak, Nick, and Aaron, visit a new location each episode, and there’s never any telling what they’ll find there.

The Characters

The ghost hunter team of Ghost Adventures is made up of three men: Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin. Zak is the host of the show, with the most camera time. He is also the leader of the team. Zak is known for his extreme measures when it comes to ghost hunting. He is not afraid to yell at ghosts or provoke them into violence. These techniques have been doubted by some of his counterparts, but his antics do make good television. Nick is a co-host and co-investigator. He is usually behind the camera when the guys interview residents or owners of the various historical sites, but he does do a significant amount of the investigating. Aaron is the camera tech. He takes care of any technical issues that may arise during an investigation, and sets up the cameras in various locations to film while the team investigates. He also participates in the investigations.

The Premise

The basic idea behind Ghost Adventures is that the team is charged with finding ghosts in various, reportedly haunted locations. Their goal is not to get rid of the ghosts, but to prove that they are there. To do this, the team uses several different techniques. The first is talking and listening. The guys start talking and asking questions of the spirits that are present,

Pawn Stars: Why This Show is Such a Hit

The History Channel’s Pawn Stars is a reality show that follows the day-to-day workings of a 24-hour pawn shop owned by Rick Harrison, his father, Richard Harrison, and his son Corey Harrison. The audience sees people coming into the pawn shop to sell their belongings. The items people sell are as varying as their reasons for selling them, and, because of this, the show has taken America by storm.

The Characters

The characters of Pawn Stars make the show interesting and engaging. Rick Harrison is the main character as the owner of the 24-hour Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, Nevada. The store is a family business, so he works there with his father, Richard Harrison, and his son Corey Harrison. Based on how they discuss different items that come into the store, these guys know their stuff. After decades of experience running a pawn shop, they are extremely business-minded, and are comfortable buying and selling even the most valuable items. Their knowledge of historical pieces is extensive, and when they don’t know about a certain item, they have a huge network of experts they can call in on a moment’s notice to appraise pieces. Chumlee, Corey’s childhood friend, also works at the shop, though he is not as business-minded as the trio. He is often the source of comic relief throughout the show.

The Premise

On the reality show, we see all sorts of people come in to sell, and sometimes pawn, old items. Usually, the items we see on the show are presumed to be very valuable, or at least unique, though I’m sure they see their share of mundane items in the shop, as well. At times, the guys can make a deal right away. Other times, they must call in a host

Ideas for a Reality TV Show

Reality TV shows are selling like hot cakes. All you have to do is huddle up a handful of average people or small time starlets, create a dramatic situation and whoa, your reality TV show is ready to go on air! The best part about reality TV shows is that they give quick fame and recognition even to average people like you and me. Besides, the viewers get a kick out of all the emotional drama (which is scripted in most cases) that happens on sets. There is really no dearth of reality TV show ideas, but most revolve around similar concepts. So, in case you wish to air your own TV show some day, then you may have to come up with really good ideas for TV shows.

Ideas for a Reality TV Show

The word ‘reality TV’ show often conjures images of emotion packed, high voltage drama. Even talent based shows such as American Idol and America’s Got Talent are occasionally laced with emotional performances either by contestants or judges. Some other reality TV shows such as Big Brother reap their popularity by playing around serious social issues. Amidst this chaos, one can also get to see some good reality shows such as Bands on the Run, The Apprentice etc. If you are interested in starting a reality TV show of your own, you may derive inspiration from any of the popular TV shows. You may then attempt to present them differently. In this article, we have not provided actual ideas, but we have certainly listed some areas which offer a scope for developing a reality show.

Performance Based
This is on similar lines as American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and likes. However, you can develop your own show by introducing a little variation.

Are Reality Shows Real?

The definition of reality television is a type of television program which is purposely unscripted for the spontaneous dramatic and humorous situations that happen as the camera rolls. These television shows usually feature ordinary people instead of professional actors. This genre of television has been around in some form or the other since the early years of television. They were game shows in the early television times when ordinary people were cast as contestants. Then in 1990, with the very popular show Big Brother, the concept of reality TV emerged. After this, there have been considerable number of reality shows that were aired every year for entertainment. There are some which cast actors while the others that cast the common man. With all the buzz and all the mystery of “what will happen next?”, these shows are some of the most watched and paid for in the media industry.

Is It Real or Fake?

The answer is obviously fake. In the earlier times, when there were other forms of reality TV, these shows had some part that displayed real emotion and behavior. In the recent times, however, they are nothing but hyped series of episodes where the cast (even non-actors) is made to be dramatic and act funny for entertainment’s sake. Today there are many reality shows for talent hunts, game shows and stunt competitions, where the contestants compete for money.

Are the Shows Scripted?
It all began with the super hit series Big Brother, where a bunch of not-so-famous celebrities had to live with strangers everyday and were cut off from the whole world. They competed against each other for money and the last person to survive won the prize money. Though these shows are not completely scripted, the backbone of the show is surely written.

Creating a Successful Reality Show

No matter how much we hate and criticize them, reality shows are fun to watch. Most shows revolve around a particular issue or event that the audience can relate to, and from that is built a show. Since many reality shows are being aired every week, the concepts behind most of the shows have become monotonous and boring. And today’s audience prefers watching reality shows that have a great entertaining value, and can truly connect with them. But at times, it becomes difficult to come up with some original and fun ideas for reality shows that can hold the audience interest on a long run. If you are an aspiring, professional writer and are looking for some unique reality TV show ideas, here are some pitching ideas that will not only promote the show but the writer too.

How to Start a Reality Show

Have a Specific Concept
One of the most basic concept of a successful show is to judge accurately what the market is buying or what exactly your audience wants to see on TV. Be specific in your concept; even if you have a generic idea, try to run your creative mind in a specific direction. Decide whether you are preparing a concept or idea for a reality series, TV game show, drama series, etc. Don’t be scared to create two or more variations on the same concept, as each of those will give you a different result which will increase your chance of making more sales. Hence, come up with a thought which is unique, never tried before, and apply different approaches on it.

Create a Highly Marketable Concept
Remember watching television is all about witnessing action, emotion, and real scenarios, that one may not see in real and everyday life. Hence, try

Facts on Reality Television

The cable network has given us the opportunity of watching reality TV shows like Temptation Island, Fear Factor, etc. These shows broke the monotony of traditional scripted shows and started to represent real-life situations or documentary event of common man instead of professional actors.

It seems, presently people are hooked on to it like children to chocolate or ice cream. Watching reality shows has become a favorite pastime and a source of fun and enjoyment for many.

The Origins of Reality TV

It has always been a little unclear as to how reality TV came into existence. That’s more or less because of how people defined reality TV. Here we take a look at the three biggest TV shows that came to be included in this category.

Candid Camera
Considered to be the oldest example of reality TV, Candid Camera first aired in 1948. It changed the history of TV shows, earning rave reviews and exponential popularity.

The Original Amateur Hour
The first competitive reality TV show, The Original Amateur Hour aired in 1948. The show was famous for launching the career of Frank Sinatra.

An American Family
This show was originally intended to be a documentary about an upper-middle class family (the Loud family), but quickly achieved dramatic controversies when the parents filed for divorce and a son became the first person ever to admit that he’s gay on TV.

The two very basic types (there are many more, which have been discussed below) of reality TV, one of which is where non-actors, or normal citizens, undergo a task or an ordeal, like Candid Camera or Original Amateur Hour. The second is a show, styled like a dramatized documentary, reveals the working of non-actors or citizens, like An American Family. Reality TV did get a lot more categories later on,

How to Do a Mind Reading Trick

The common form of mind reading in today’s world is mentalism, which is a performing art, a kind of stage magic that makes use of sleight and other performing skills. The practice is helpful not just in performing tricks, but also to communicate properly with others. These skills enable us to compete, negotiate, and cooperate in day-to-day life. A set of observations derived from these skills helps us in judging a particular situation in less time. Misusing these skills would have a bad impact on the user’s social life. Thus, one should be careful in his approach towards the use of such skills. These tricks could be of different types such as psychic, those involving numbers, letters, etc. The following examples are the simplest to learn, and one can easily fox the spectators with them. If you practice well and develop interest, it is easy to master these skills in a few days.

The Book Trick
It is one of the common tricks in which a card and any book, preferably, the thickest one, should be used. In this, one has to ask a spectator to insert the card anywhere in the book. The magic in this is that one should be able to tell the content on the page where the card has been inserted. To perform this, one would first require a little bit of practice. The book that one chooses needs to have a plain cover. A card similar to that which is going to be inserted by the spectator needs to be already placed in the book.

When a spectator is called upon to insert the card in the book, the opposite side of the book where the first card is inserted needs to be shown to him. As the spectator walks

Magic Tricks for Kids

Magic tricks are a great source of entertainment for kids. You can never go wrong with a magic show for kids and can always be sure of impressing them with simple tricks and illusions. Moreover, you can also teach them a few tricks to perform in front of their friends. This will not only make your kids popular in their friend circle, but also boost their confidence. Letting your child do the magic trick on his own will also improve his communication skills and give him a first hand experience of handling masses. The tricks mentioned in this article are easy to understand and fun to perform.

Card Trick
In this trick, the magician often asks a member of the audience to memorize a card from the deck and then accurately tells what that card is! Kids are easily impressed by this simple trick. Before you address the audience, look at the card that is at the bottom of the deck. Now invite a volunteer and ask him or her to take any card out of the deck and memorize it. Let them then place this card on the top of the deck. Now, cut the deck in two and place the bottom half on top. Look for the card you saw at the bottom, the card to the right of this card, is the one your volunteer chose.

Sweet Number
All you need is a pencil, a sugar cube, and a glass of water for this trick. Write any number between 0-9 on any face of the sugar cube. Now address the audience with the numbered face pressed tightly between your thumb and forefinger. Show the sugar cube to the audience and tell them that you will make a number appear on the palm of

Scientific Explanation of Optical Illusions

Wondering why optical illusions occur? Do you think there is something magical about them? And if you think so, you are partly right. Yes, optical illusions are a manifestation of the magical powers of nature. But there is a scientific explanation to this.

One logical reason for optical illusions is mistaken judgment. An error in the estimation of distance or depth can cause optical illusions. If objects of contrasting colors are placed beside each other, our eyes mistake one color for another. Different colors absorb different amounts of light. This affects the perception of different colored objects by the eyes, leading to optical illusions.

According to the Lipps’ principle of mechanical aesthetic unity, our eyes give every space the form of a living being and unconsciously consider some mechanical forces acting. Wundt suggests that the principles of retinal image formation are a major reason behind the occurrence of optical illusions. When an object reflects the light falling on it, the eye forms an inverted image on the retina. The brain interprets this image and derives meaning out of it. The structure and functioning of the eyes is one of the important causes of optical illusions.

One’s eyes may possess abnormalities like astigmatism and eccentricity. Lenses possess defects such as chromatic and spherical aberrations. These phenomena are responsible for optical illusions. Certain neuropsychological diseases can cause optical illusions. Judgments about the direction and distance are not accurate, when our eyes are closed. It is normal for a human eye to perceive vertical distances as greater than horizontal ones of equal magnitudes.

Perhaps, optical illusions occur because we don’t always know what we see, but we tend to see what we know.

A Brief Overview of Black Magic

Magic is defined as “the art or science of causing change to occur in conformity with will”. Since humans are basically motivated by emotions of love and hate, magic has developed into two forms: one which is motivated to benefit mankind, commonly termed ‘white’ magic, and the one which is present to injure mankind, termed ‘black’ magic.

It is usually misconstrued that anyone who successfully practices magic is a witch. This is not true as magic in itself is a practice. Therefore, anyone may learn and use this art in their lives. Such a person is properly referred to as a ‘magician’. A witch is a person who belongs to the old religion of pre-Christian Europe commonly called witchcraft, and often referred to as Wicca in today’s times.

The type of magic that asserts your will over someone else in a strong, binding, and permanent way, or which is meant to cause damage, harm, or death is called black magic (for example, a spell to cause pain, damage property, exert control, or gain power over someone). These are the kinds of spells that sorcerers use. These purposes are highly unethical, and should be avoided by the Wizards.

The simplest form of black magic is sorcery, in which a certain physical act is performed to achieve a particular result. For example, a wax image is melted over a fire to kill a victim; blood is scattered over a field to ensure a bountiful harvest in the next growing season; knots are tied in a cord to store wind for a sea voyage, etc. Thus, sorcery forms the bulk of folk magic, and it’s often popularly referred to as “Black Magic”.

One of the reasons for the association of black color is that, much of this art originated in Egypt,

Playing Cards: What’s Behind Them?

A refreshing drink and a company of friends. If you cannot go outside, chances are that you will spend your time with the new card deck you got as a gift last week. There is certain magic in the way you cannot predict which card you are going to pick next, a sort of lottery even. The crispiness of new cards when you begin to sort them adds to the attraction and addiction of playing cards. The uneasiness in your mind when you are nearing the end of the game and don’t know when the game might turn in your favor adds to the excitement.

No one really knows where playing cards really came from. Some people think it was China, others believe it was India, and still others claim it was the Near East. Cards didn’t reach Europe until around 1300. The earliest playing cards are believed to have originated in Central Asia. Documented history of card playing began in the 10th century, when the Chinese began using paper dominoes by shuffling and dealing them into new games. Four-suited decks with court cards evolved in the Moslem world and were imported by Europeans before 1370. In those days, cards were hand-painted and only the very wealthy could afford them, but with the invention of woodcuts in the 14th century, Europeans began mass-production.

You probably have noticed that in every deck of playing cards, the ace of spades is different from the other aces. The central spade symbol on the ace is bigger than any other symbol in the deck. And there’s a reason for it.

In past centuries, governments in Europe always put a heavy tax on decks of playing cards. No one could sell a deck of cards without a tax stamp showing that a

Magic and Magicians in the 19th Century

The subject of magic and magicians is an extremely wide subject and difficult to contain in this article. Nonetheless magic and skilled magicians can be traced in the ancient manuscripts written by Emperor Jepang, where he described himself witnessing tricks performed by Indian jugglers, and when not being able to understand the wonders created by them, termed them as supernatural powers.

A scholar describes a magic item he had seen on the western coast of India. Twelve or fourteen persons, of whom nine belonged to the troupe, formed a circle, in the center of which stood a basket. A juggler having lain himself in the basket, was covered up. The form of the juggler dwindled more and more and finally when the cover was removed the basket was found empty. The basket was again covered and the juggler reappeared in his former place. The traveler states that he could not explain this occurrence, the more unable to do so as there was no depression in the ground beneath the basket, the juggler was unprepared as the trick was performed in front of his host’s residence. He further adds that he had often seen experiments by European magicians, but had never been so mystified.

For people not conversant with the art of magic, it seems that the performer possesses extraordinary powers. But then, more the education towards science, more are the tricks that a magician could conjure. The progress in science, at its highest in Europe, has enabled the magician to practice his art to a greater extent than among less civilized nations. But it is a known fact that a person sees more wonders in a foreign land than in his own.

But Magic. Where did it originate? Magic was given much preference in its place of

What are the Qualities Required to Become a Good Journalist

Like any other profession, journalism too requires certain types of people, not everyone can become a good journalist. There are certain qualities that a person must possess in order to become a good journalist. Some qualities can be worked on, but mostly a certain personality would be more suitable for the high pressure job of a journalist. I have seen a lot of different people in this field, some live up to the image of the conventional journalist that we have in mind, while others are a stark contrast, nevertheless, they are pretty good at their job. So, what qualities does one need to survive in the competitive world of journalism, here is a list:

There is no room for errors in news, a journalist must make sure he gets accurate information. No guesses should be made, all the information should be double checked. As the popular slogan goes, ‘Get it first, but first get it right.’ A journalist needs to have an eye for detail and accuracy.

In journalism, speed is as important as accuracy. Someone may be a very good writer and may able to write an excellent story in a day. However, a journalist is required to write within the deadline, which may sometimes be not more than 15 minutes. There is always a deadline, if one cannot write in this pressure, then he is definitely not suitable for the job.

It is extremely important for a journalist to be curious, or else he will fail to spot a potential story. He must always be curious to find out as much as he can. He should have a wide range of interests and must be eager to learn about people, places and events. In addition, a keen interest in current affairs

Journalism Ethics and Standards

Journalism ethics and standards are a set of principles that act as a guideline for professional journalists. These are often referred to as “code of ethics” or the “canons of journalism”, and are aimed at ensuring that journalists maintain honesty and integrity in their profession. Journalists are challenged regularly in their professional lives as the lines between working ethically and being labeled unethical, sometimes appear blurry. Let us take a look at an example to understand the ethical dilemma journalists may get into in their professional lives.

To uncover massive corruption in India’s Ministry of Defense, an Indian newspaper launched a major sting operation called Operation West End. Two journalists posing as arms dealers from London got into negotiations with the higher-ups in the establishment and filmed the whole conversation. The undercover video showed the secretary of the ruling party and several other higher-ups accepting bribes while promising the journalists to help them in securing government contracts in India. The video was played to the whole nation causing a flutter in the political circles. The casualties were the Minister of Defense, secretary of the ruling party and several other high-profile bureaucrats.

In this scenario, the journalists used covert methods to seek truth and expose the culprits, but it also triggered a debate on whether this can qualify as unethical journalism. It is very important to take a balanced view at the subject. The motive behind this act was to uncover those who were causing losses worth millions of dollars for their own personal gains apart from compromising on the security of the nation. If the journalists had not embarked on this mission, there was every possibility that those corrupt ministers would have never been brought to justice. The other side of the coin is that by