Over the past 15 years, reality television has transformed from a relatively non-existent category into a well-oiled machine. Tons of networks were quick to capitalize on the trend and quickly reality TV shows became high-rated primetime juggernauts. Audiences love to tune in and watch everyday people put in extraordinary situations. But while these programs may be marketed as reality, there are often people behind the scenes who are pulling strings in ways you might not realize. Here are Screen Rant’s 10 Biggest Lies You Believe About Reality TV Shows.
Keeping Up With The Kardashians
The Kardashians aren’t known for being authentic, so it should come as no surprise that their show isn’t either. Camera crews follow the family as they spend their days being famous on E! network’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians. And if that sounds boring to you, you’re not alone. The producers tend to agree, and will occasionally mess with the show’s timeline to create drama. They’ve also been accused of using their powers for other evils; to make some characters more sympathetic than others. Apparently Kim choreographed her entire engagement to Kris Humphries, even demanding that it be filmed over again. Why? She “didn’t like” the face she was making in the original. It seems that the real stars of this show are editing, and reshoots.
There’s a common saying amongst lawyers: “always read the fine print.” And if you can catch the fine print at the end of an episode of Judge Judy, here’s what you’ll learn. The complainants in each case found their way to Judge Judith Sheindlin’s courtroom by way of a producer. And that producer found them by lurking around small-claims courts, listening for wacky cases. At no cost to them, the participants are flown to Los Angeles where they’re paid an appearance fee. Even the losers are winners. The production company pays whatever fine the Judge assigns at the end of each trial. So if you’ve ever wondered what would possess someone to appear on a show like this one, now you know.
How many times have you found yourself in the back of a taxi, wishing for something to make the time pass faster? If only the driver would quiz you on your general knowledge! Then you’d BOTH be having fun! Well, thanks to Cash Cab, there are a handful of lucky commuters who made it to their destination with fully stimulated brains, and a pocket full of cash. Except that they don’t actually keep the cash. They give it back and wait for their winnings in the mail. Oh, and the contestants? Most of them are not random citizens on their way to drinks with friends, or a night on the down. Nope. They’re people who have been pre-screened by producers. And it’s disappointing when you realize that not everyone has an equal shot at being picked up by the Cash Cab.
Look twice before you throw out that pile of junk in the garage, because it might be full of rare antique collectibles worth a million dollars. If tenants skip payments long enough, eventually the contents of their locker are auctioned off, which is the entire premise of Storage Wars. The catch is that the people bidding don’t know what treasures lie within each unit. They’re not allowed to touch anything until the buyer is confirmed, and there’s something crazy in every locker. So after finding his share of outlandish stuff in the abandoned lockers of Storage Wars, one of the show’s stars began making noise about producers tampering with their contents. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. And bid-master Dave Hester sued the network for interfering. He says he was fired in retaliation, but came back to the series shortly after.
Charlie Parsons took the old “stranded on a desert island” conversation and turned it into an empire called Survivor. Since the year 2000, viewers have been tuning in to watch as the tribes battle hunger, and each other, in a series of tests. Alternating between physical and mental, whatever tribe loses the challenge votes on which teammate they want to send home. In the show’s inaugural season, contestant Stacey Stillman was the third person to be cut from the team. She then sued on the grounds that producers were tampering with the voting process, arguing that if they hadn’t interfered she might have won. That case was decided privately, but producer Mark Burnett admits that some things were fake. The aerial and establishing shots were done using stand-ins, that’s why we never see any pesky cameramen in the background.