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What are reality shows?

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Quick Answer

Reality TV shows are shows that use everyday people instead of actors in unscripted scenarios, often in real-world situations. Reality shows tend to focus on drama and tension between cast members, unlike documentaries, which aim to educate viewers.

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Full Answer

Reality shows come in many different formats. Some simply follow people's daily lives. Some of these shows feature celebrities, while others, such as MTV's "The Real World," feature unknown people. Other reality shows, such as "Survivor," "The Amazing Race" and "American Idol," have a game or competition element. While the actions of the contestants are unscripted, the producers often exert heavy control over the direction of competition-based shows.

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