JUMP CUT
A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA

 

 

Notes

1. Reality TV’s modern game shows include Weakest Link and So You Want to be a Millionaire? Test of endurance shows include Fear Factor.Examples of court shows are The People’s Court, Judge Joe Brown. Gamedoc competitions include Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, and The Biggest Loser. [return to essay]

2. Greenhouse reports,

“Americans work 137 hours, or about three and one-half weeks, more a year than Japanese workers, 260 hours (about six and one-half weeks) more a year than British workers and 499 hours (about 12 1/2 weeks) more a year than German workers… The Japanese had long been at the top for the number of hours worked, but in the mid-1990's the United States surpassed Japan, and since then it has pulled farther ahead” (2001, September 1).

3. Stanley adds,

“These self-serving gambits annoy labor groups, including American Rights at Work, a nonprofit labor policy organization in Washington, which circulates labor complaints and employee lawsuits against the companies that CBS has crowned. (1-800-Flowers.com, for example, is currently fighting a sexual harassment suit by a former deputy general counsel and vice president.) The group also takes exception to the way each episode ends with a pageant of seigniorial largesse — a $1,000 gift certificate, a family vacation — instead of a commitment to fair wages and safe working conditions.” (2010, February 10). [return to page 2]

4. Reality TV programming can be inexpensive to make when compared to television shows that rely professional writers for scripts and the involvement of unionized actors or celebrities and others who are able to negotiate for high wages. For instance, for the hugely popular show, The Real World, cast members were paid a pittance and each episode cost only $107,000 to produce (Huff 2006:13). In the late 1990s and early 2000s,

“Finding reality formats cheap to produce, easy to sell abroad, and not dependant on the hiring of unionized acting and writing talent, the industry began to develop more programs” (Ouellette & Murray 2004:7). [return to page 3]

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