Reality television as a whole has become a fixture of television programming.In the United States, various channels have retooled themselves to focus on reality programs, most famously MTV, which began in 1981 as a music video pioneer, before switching to a nearly all-reality format in the early 2000s.
Other criticisms of reality television shows include that they are intended to humiliate or exploit participants (particularly on competition shows); that they make stars out of either untalented people unworthy of fame, infamous personalities, or both; and that they glamorize vulgarity and materialism.
Professional screenwriters have expressed concern about the popularity of a genre which does not require scriptwriting.
It differs from documentary television in that the focus tends to be on drama, personal conflict, and entertainment rather than educating viewers.
Reality TV programs also often bring participants into situations and environments that they would otherwise never be a part of.
The series You Asked for It (1950–1959) incorporated audience involvement by basing episodes around requests sent in by postcard from viewers.
First broadcast in the United Kingdom in 1964, the Granada Television documentary Seven Up!
The genre has various standard tropes, including "confessionals" (also called talking heads or interview segments) used by cast members to express their thoughts, which often double as the shows' narration.
Reality TV shows often have a host who asks questions of the participants and comments on the proceedings.
The series revolves around a wealthy bachelor courted by 25 women.
The bachelor eventually selects one of the group to continue their romance.
Television formats portraying ordinary people in unscripted situations are almost as old as the television medium itself.