Infographic: A Brief and Totally Incomplete History of Reality Television


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This infographic was submitted to us by, who provided this description:

“Each one of us has a favorite Reality TV show one way or

the other. We go crazy over our favorite TV show and we always make

it a point to make it part of our daily routine to the point that we

often stole a minute or two in the office to open our PC to watch the

replay online or the episode that we’ve missed during the regular

airing. Luckily for those with TiVo where they could record an

episode and never missed a beat of their favorite TV show while the

rest have to endure some anxious moments whether they could watch the

episode or not. One such show that I am really crazy about is

Survivor. Sometimes I wonder how did these Reality TV shows managed

to hook us into following them! When did these phenomenon started?

In our infographic site, your questions will be answered.”

This is a pictorial timeline, and an interesting one at that–but it isn’t an infographic. There is no data–just text and pictures. It’s also an interesting look at where the line is drawn on “reality TV.” For instance, talk shows like Oprah Winfrey and Jerry Springer seem to be in a different category from those that just follow one set of people around like Jersey Shore and The Real World. Perhaps a definition of what is considered to be “reality TV” within the context of the infographic would be helpful here?

In all I’d give this a B for a timeline and a D for an infographic–it needs data, statistics. What is the viewership of reality TV? What % of people watch 1 reality TV show? 2 shows? 3+? How many of the original “7 Up” kids are still alive? We need numerical factoids for this to become an infographic.

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