Expert: Stress, emotions key to reality TV

Aug. 2, 2009 at 12:53 PM

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Organizers of U.S. reality TV series want to have their shows' contestants in an emotional and stressful state to make for better television, an expert says.

Mark Andrejevic, a University of Iowa associate professor of communications studies, said having reality show contestants on the brink allows series producers to better control how the show progresses, The New York Times reported Sunday.

"The bread and butter of reality television is to get people into a state where they are tired, stressed and emotionally vulnerable," said Andrejevic, who also wrote "Reality TV: The Work of Being Watched."

Jen Yemola, who competed on the Fox reality series "Hell's Kitchen" in 2007, said she felt like a prisoner when forced to spend several days in a hotel room prior to the start of filming.

"They took all my books, my CDs, my phone, any newspapers. I was allowed to leave the room only with an escort. It was like I was in prison," Yemola told the Times of show organizers.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
'Good Wife' showrunners say SB50 announcement CBS' way to 'honor' show
Kanye West renames upcoming album 'T.L.O.P.'
Elton John rides with James Corden for Carpool Karaoke
Angelina Jolie spotted with three new tattoos
Steve Harvey mocks 'Miss Universe' flub in new Super Bowl ad