Document Type

Article

Abstract

This article describes a series of focus group interviews of young adults about reality programs. The interviews were conducted to investigate audiences’ understandings of the nature, realism, and gratifications of the programming category. A central element defining reality programs was the perception that the behavior of the cast members was a reflection of their own will and personality and that their actions had consequences in terms of the outcome of the show. These factors also contributed to perceptions of the shows' realism. Participants reported enjoying the programs because of their humor and their unpredictability, which seemed to contribute to the creation of suspense and to greater involvement. Implications for further research are discussed.

Publication Date

2020

Publication Title

Communication Quarterly

Volume

54

First Page

191

Last Page

212

DOI

10.1080/01463370600650902

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