Reality show is a genre of television programming which presents unscripted dramatic situations and documents actual events. It covers a wide range of programming formats, from game or quiz shows to surveillance productions. They portray a modified and highly influenced form of reality. Who can overcome the fear of height? Who can lose more weight? Who can gorge a bucket full of disgusting insects?
There are host of such productions on television generating hefty revenues for the networks. This new genre is cost effective and popular the two features the Entertainment corporations favor the most.
People do anything for money especially if it is on television. There is no limit of what the show producers can make people do. What motivates people is insatiable greed. Millions sign up to enter the competitions, a few lucky ones get accepted to compete and one becomes rich and famous. That is a win-win proposition for both parties.
Since there are so many popular reality shows, the producers relentlessly search for new ideas. They travel around the world for inspirations and crave for ingenious concepts, I’m one of them. This is a cutthroat business. To me it doesn’t matter what the idea is as long as it gets millions of people glued to their TV sets on prime time.
One early morning on my way to work, I happened to notice a homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk, a scene I’d witnessed thousands of times but this one inspired me. Why not reverse the course of all reality shows. Why not swim against the current and instead of promoting greed, encourage compassion and bring humanity in people for a change. I started thinking of producing a reality show that promotes generosity and selflessness instead of greed and voracity. Such an innovative concept could attract millions of viewers and secure our network’s position as the leader in the industry.
But I’ve been in this business long enough to know it would be a tough sell to the network executives. I could see their reactions already. So, I had to design this show to set it apart from the lack luster charity programs sponsored by the non-profit organizations on television. It had to be daring and controversial idea to convince the network decision makers.
When I first introduced my new idea in the meeting, one executive said, “Are you out of your mind? How could we possibly expect any audience for such a ludicrous show?” And the other smirked, “You need a vacation, a long one.” The network president shook his head, “No, no, no. We’ll go out of business by promoting humanity on prime time television.” Everyone burst in laughter.
“I didn’t blame you to react unfavorably, but I have no intention of promoting humanity. This ingenious idea is to help us generate substantial revenue.” I said.
And a few weeks later, I called another meeting with the network executives, “I know it sounds ludicrous but it’s a fresh concept and if we promote this show properly, the audience turnout could sky rocket. It’s a low budget project with great potentials. This is an uncharted territory and we should be the pioneers and dare to explore it. This idea would set us apart from others. We can profit from it. A reality show that brings the best in people, how smart is that?”
The Network executives are intelligent individuals. They carefully considered my idea and finally gave me the green light.
We launched an advertising campaign to audit potential contestants without revealing the nature of the show. The day of audition arrived and we had thousands of people ready to embrace name and fame.
I introduced to the audience the idea of a reality show that offered neither financial reward nor public recognition of contestants or winners. As I expected the majority of the prospects left the building outraged and disappointed. In a matter of hours I had a handful of individuals who were willing to devout their time and resources to a humane cause without any expectations. They were exactly the ones we were looking for.
A few months later the show aired and soon became tremendously popular. We closely monitored the humanitarian efforts of our contestants to relief poverty, advance education and provide medical assistance for the poor. Every week we had a comprehensive news report on the undertaken projects and reported the progress and accomplishments of the contestants and interviewed the beneficiaries of their philanthropic endeavor. The public voted on the progress to determine the winners at the end of season. 5% of the total show revenue was pledged to the philanthropic causes of the winners. With the fund provided by the network, our contestants made real difference in lives of so many.
The idea resonated with a vast audience. People were anxious to know our unknown heroes and learn more of their selfless sacrifices. The more these modern day saints suffered for their just causes, the more popular our show became. We touched millions of hearts at almost no cost to us. Our noble show became the most watched TV program and generated astonishing revenue for our network.