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Meanwhile, contestants also will be able to ask viewers for help.PHOTOS: Broadcast TV's Returning Shows for 2014-15 Matthew Kelly, vp development and production at Discovery, says that what sets apart a show like and others of its ilk is that they gets back to the "real" in "reality TV." "A lot of reality television's audience has lost a little bit of faith in what reality is; they don't know if it is real," he says, citing shows , which some viewers perceive as having a "scripted reality sensibility." "But with a social experiment, you genuinely feel like the people are going through something that feels real and authentic.Back then, our utopian idea rested on assumptions both right and wrong.We assumed network-sized broadcasters could never afford new programming for so many active channels. We also assumed TV subscribers wouldn’t stand for 500 channels of identical fluff, network reruns, syndicated programs, second-run movies, infomercials, and home shopping. We were sure the abundance of channels would bring on stations of pure environmental happiness, carrying into our homes the comforts everyone craves: the 24-hour Puppy Channel, the Sky Channel, the Ocean Channel, the Baby Channel—showing nothing but frolicsome puppies, placid sky, tumultuous ocean, and big-headed babies. And yet cable TV did indeed get cut up for small pleasures, in the advertisement of more utilitarian interests, on the Food Network, the In Style Network, and Home and Garden Television (HGTV).(Natural beauty took hold on cable only in the pious slideshows of the Christian channels, where Yosemite is subtitled by 1st Corinthians.) The meaningful history of technology turns out to be a history of its fantasized uses as much as of the shapes it actually takes.
We’d manifest our nature on channels 401 to 499 as surely as do puppies, ocean, and sky."One in every three pitches I hear is 'social experiment,' but a lot of them, quite frankly, are game shows or docu-soaps or something else." Andreae and his peers argue that while shows like John de Mol) could be perceived as a social experiment, they don't quite fall into the category.Our cable-box dreams finally rested on one beautiful notion: the participatory broadcasting of real life.