Global TV Realities International Markets,Geopolitics and the Transcultural Context ofReality TVJohn McMurria
Problems for BritainJanuary 2007 U.K Broadcast Channel 4 And TVformat producer Endemol placed 10international celebrities for the creation of BigBrother. Viewer thought that some of the script was racism,and Channel 4 was using it to get rating. For example: “The indian,” and “Bloody PakiBitch.”Celebrity Big Brother UK 2007 - Highlights Show 14 Part 2
ComplaintsThat’s where the Problems started Britain’s Telecom regulator Ofcom received 38,000complaints, Channel 4 closed the street outside the studiowhere protested gathered. They also gathered in city streets in India, thisarrived to British Chancellor. He quotes, “Iwant Britain to be seen as a country of fairnessand tolerance, and anything that detractsfrom that I condemn.”
IncidentThe national Structures of Television regulationand culture that find the British BroadcasterChannel 4 implicated in a Public debate overBritish Identity. They described Global TV as an economic andCultural Process of Asymmetrical Interdependenceacross global, regional, national, and local contexts.
TV GlobalizationThe economic, regulatory, and culturaldimensions of television in the 1950s and 1960swere largely national in scope.In the postwar period the United States led worldtelevision exports, aided by Hollywood’s establishglobal dominance in film distribution.By the early 1960s, U.s television producers madeover $30 million in TV exports to over 40 nations,most of the revenues coming from Canada, theUK, Australia, and Latin American
ContinueIn the late 1980 and 1990 cable and satellitetelevision increased the number of commercialchannels in many regions.1989 western Europe aired 40 TV channels but by2002 offered 1500 though 50 national terrestrialchannels still attracted 75 percent of all viewers.In 2006 the annual worldwide trade in TVprogramming rights was valued at $10 millionwith the United States holding the largest share
Four development(emerged)1. National government formed internationalcoproduction treaties to share creative andfinancial resources so that cooperative ventureswould qualify for national multilateralcoproduction treaties were written for Ibero-America, the Pacific, Rim, and the EuropeanUnion.
Continued2. International program producers andsyndicators established international distributionnetworks and relations with global advertisers toproduce programs designed for transnationalaudiences.Arabian Nights 2000Power rangers Power Rangers IntroSesame Street
Continue…3. Large Media conglomerates includingViacom, Newscorp, Disney Time Warner, Sonyand Discovery Created global TV networks with amixture of U.S and localized programmingThe U.K.- based Zonemedia developed anumber of global channels including the 24-hourunscripted entertainment channel Reality TV in1999(renamed) Zone Reality in 2006
Continue4. Most critical to the proliferation of reality TV,the global TV formatting business grew rapidly inthe 1990s as companies with bases in westernEurope built vertically integrated transnationaltelevision companies with huge inventories ofgame shows and reality TV formats. This was worth 2.4 million 2004
EndemolProduced over 400 different programs totaling15,000 hours. Ten formats were reality TV,includingBig Brother, Fear Factor, Extreme Makeover:Home Edition, Star Academy, The Farm, and theThe Talent show operation Triunfo.
FremantleMediaOwns the Pop Idol Format including Farmer Wants a Wife, Australia How Clean is Your House? Grand Designs Families Behaving Badly
Regional Developments inReality TVIn Japan, the second largest television market inthe world, where 95% of programming isdomestically produced, they made localversions of some shows, such as Survivor.Big Brother reached Japanese TV screens but itfocused on the life story and inward emotionalconflicts of each contestants as they developfriendship under difficult conditions. Who Want to be a Millionaire (2000) The Weakest Link Iron Chief Similar Show also reach China and South Korean
Continue…2006: Sony’s Satellite TV channel created amarginally successful Hindi version of Endemol’sCelebrity Big Brother called the Bigg Boss. (Hadto settle for D-list celebs)Fear factor, was aired in India, West Africa,AfricaLatin America: Amazing Race and ExtremeMakeover, While You Were Out, Wife Swap andSurvivorSpanish translation: Mientras No Estabamos andCabiemos de Esposas, Expedicion Robinson
Reality TV and Geopoliticsof the “War on Terror”The Marine Corps worked with FOX to producethe reality series Boot Camp which followed 16civilians contestants through basic training led byactive-duty Marine Sergeants. This show resemble Survivor, which the creator ofSurvivor and CBS sued Fox for copyrightinfringement.Boot Camp clip
Sunk a JapaneseSubmarine?Two other reality series promoted all fourbranches of the U.S. Military. March 2001 TBS debuted War Games, a two hourreality special involving combat scenarios includingAir Force dogfighting, “live fire” exercises and Navysubmarine warfare, which was particularlysuspended.
Combat MissionTeams from the Green Berets, Delta Force,Central Intelligence Agency special operations,a SWAT police force competed against anenemy “Shadow squad.” But Scott Helvenston a contestant on the DeltaForce Team, was killed in Fallujah March 31, 2004,other three people died Combat Missions was not renewed for a secondseason.
Profiles from the Front lineProduced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Pearl Harbor, Black HawkDown), who collaborated with the Pentagon13 week reality Series following Special Forces in combat afterU.S. invasion of Afghanistan that premiered on ABC inFebruary 2003.“I have a problem with the idea of confusing theentertainment side of ABC with something as serious assoldiers doing their job. “-director on Press, Politics and Public Policy atHarvard University Profiles was more critical than most of the networks, showing militaryactions not seen in other news coverage. In one episode, a master sergeant got killed and we followed him frombattlefield to the hospital to his coffin.
“Global TV Industry on a Roll” Article written by Peter Feuilherade for BBC Monitoring13 Oct. 2006 At time of article, UK became second to the US inInternational program sales, with British programexports jumping 21% New media began to emerge as a significant revenuestream (YouTube and MySpace– Facebook had notyet taken off) Study by JupiterResearch found that the internet hasovertaken newspapers and magazines as the mainsource of news and feature-type information forEuropeans.
“Iraqi reality TV show defiesodds in this violence plaguedcountry” Article written by Rawya Rageh (2006) Iraqs new hit reality television show “Saya Wa Surmaya,” or “Fame andFortune.” The show features Iraqi men and women taking on challenges in hopesof winning a contract with Al-Sharqiya television, which airs the program. “Fame and Fortune” presents a different “reality” from every day life inIraq – no kidnappings, no killings, no explosions . Keeping with Islamic tastes, the participants dont spend the night on theset, as they might in a Western reality show. They do eat together,socialize and sit close to one another on a narrow couch. Yet, slickWestern production methods are evident in every aspect of the show –from the trademark IKEA interiors, looking more like a New York studiothan one of traditional Iraqi tastes, to commercials advertising the showwith Frank Sinatras song “My Way” in the background.
Conclusion Reality TV engaged with the “war of terror” wherenational contexts largely determined geopoliticalorientation. Though Iraqi viewers had access to diverseinternational perspectives on Television whereas U.S.viewers did not. Before the war, only 3 channels aired in Iraq, allcontrolled by Saddam Hussein. Two years later, Iraqiscould watch over 30 channels, plus dozens of satellitechannels. Because theaters in Iraq were closed and curfewswere enforced after dark, the sale of TV sets soared,with many turning to reality TV.
EndGlobal realities unscripted entertainmentrepresents neither fundamental break from theforces of a globalizing modernity nor anotherwestern imperialist cultural form but rather a newdevelopment in global television worthy ofserious attention, contestation, and study withinparticular localized contexts.