In 1973, the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) aired a television program titled "An American Family." The show was the first of its kind, and by the 90s and early 2000s, reality television was clogging the airways with shows like "The Real World" and "Survivor."
Today, this style of television makes up a large majority of TV production, but could certain “reality” shows be scripted? "Storage Wars" star, Dave Hester, would use his famous tagline (which was probably written by scripters) and say, “Yuuup!”
According to an article
in The Huffington Post, Hester claims that, “[The show] regularly 'salts’ [or plants] the storage lockers that are the subject of the auctions…with valuable or unusual items to add dramatic effect, even going so far as to stage entire storage units.”
Despite Hester’s accusations, if viewers doubted that the show was even partially rigged before this, they were in serious reality TV denial. Although the cast stumbles upon common storage items like antiques, paintings, ATVs and diamond bracelets, it’s very unlikely that the show would be fortunate enough to uncover rarities such as samurai swords, gold certificates and BMWs on a regular basis.
In all reality
(sorry, I had to do it), it doesn’t matter if this genre of show is staged – America is a society of voyeurs, and we can’t get enough of this crap. I’ll admit that I spend a few hours a week on my couch watching "The Real Housewives" of whatever group of women is desperate enough for dramatic attention. Reality television, for most of us, is a guilty pleasure that gives us an entertaining opportunity to laugh, cry or gossip about the fortunate (or misfortunate) lives of others. Deadline reporter, Dominic Patten, said it best during this ABC News special
… "Reality TV is a little bit like sausage, I think; you might love the way it tastes, but you don’t necessarily want to know how it’s made.”