February 18, 2020
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Reality TV FAQs

Reality TV FAQs

What is Reality TV?

A show that presents ordinary people in live, supposedly unscripted (though often deliberately manufactured) situations, and monitors or judges their emotions, behaviour or talent. They are usually based on a competition format. The participants have the chance to win big money.

Two kinds of Reality TV shows

  • Game shows: Dance, music or quiz competitions, with both ordinary people and celebrities participating. Examples: Indian Idol, Nach Baliye, Kaun Banega Crorepati.
  • Voyeur TV: Participants are placed in exotic, abnormal or dramatic situations, while TV cameras peer into their lives, and audiences watch them reveal their darkest secrets. Examples: Bigg Boss, Rakhi ka Swayamvar, Sach ka Saamna.

How Voyeur TV Sexed It Up


MTV (2003-present) Copied from Survivor

  • Masochistic twentysomethings are tested on their ability to bike, climb and dish out expletives.
  • News Factor: A 9-year-old boy hanged himself while imitating a stunt he saw on the show

Bigg Boss

 Sony/Colors (2006-present) Copied from Big Brother

  • Celebrities are locked in a house for three months, and their activities and conversations are recorded 24/7 by TV cameras.
  • News Factor: We were expecting some Jade Goody-Shilpa Shetty-type catfights, but all we got was Rahul Mahajan brushing his teeth. Only the yawns were real.


MTV (2008-present)

  • Contestants battle each other to grab the eyeballs and love of a chosen 'king' and 'queen'
  • News Factor: Recent contestants have alleged the show's production team sexually exploits participants.

Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao

Sony TV (2009) Copied from I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out...

  • Ten small-time celebrities are sent into the Malaysian jungles, where they will have to battle creepy-crawlies to earn their food.
  • News Factor: Animal lovers are up in arms, disgusted participants have started walking off the show

Rakhi Ka Swayamvar

NDTV Imagine (2009)

  • Feisty Rakhi Sawant morphs into demure wannabe bride as she sizes up one prospective bridegroom after another.
  • News Factor: A Kashmiri police constable got onto the show, only to reveal that he was already married. The cheek!

Sach Ka Saamna

Star Plus (2009) Copied from Moment of Truth

  • If you felt Rakhi going husband-hunting on TV was shocking, you obviously weren't prepared for contestants confessing to sexcapades, lies and cheating in their quest to win the Rs 1 crore prize.
  • News Factor: The show was banned in Colombia after a woman participant confessed she hired a contract killer to murder her husband
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