|Title||Big Brother: the real audience|
In this article, the author focuses on Big Brother in relation to audience attraction. I outline thecontext of factual entertainment and its audience, and the specific experience of watchingBig Brother. Seen in relation to factual entertainment as a whole, Big Brother is one of theleast popular examples of "documentary as diversion." Seen in relation to gamedocs, BigBrother is one of the most popular examples of new factual entertainment. The author'sresearch, which uses quantitative and qualitative audience studies, indicates that attractionto Big Brother is based on the social and performative aspects of the program. The focus onthe degree of actuality, on real people's improvised performances in the program, leads to aparticular viewing practice: audiences look for the moment of authenticity when real peopleare "really" themselves in an unreal environment. This, the author argues, is the popularity ofthe gamedoc, evident in its early incarnation, and writ large in Big Brother spin-offs and sub-sequentseries.
(Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Ltd from Hill, Annette (2002) Big Brother: the real audience. © 2002 SAGE Publications).
|Keywords||Reality TV, documentary, game shows, performance, authenticity, television audiences|
|Journal||Television & New Media|
|Journal citation||3 (3), pp. 323-340|
|Web address (URL)||http://tvn.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/3/3/323|