20 years after Loft Story, how reality TV got on our screens

The essentials More and more topics, an exponential number of hours of radio, … 20 years after reality TV began in France, the Audiovisual Supreme Council is analyzing this phenomenon.

On April 26, 2001, twenty years ago, the French discovered the new program Loft Story and thus reality TV on their screens.

Eleven anonymous people will live together, completely cut off and isolated from the outside world. Inspired by the Dutch concept of “Big Brother”, the aim of the show is to examine the behavior of these five women and six men and the ways in which they form bonds between them.

Twenty years later, and while the shows have multiplied since then, what happened to reality TV? This is the question asked by the Audiovisual Board of Governors, analyzing the evolution and impact of this concept, which has produced 140 emissions over a decade.

NRJ12 broadcasts 52% of the program hours

In addition, from 2010 to 2019, the NRJ12 channel accumulated 52% of the hourly broadcast volume, or 8,868 hours. In second place we find TFX with 3,784 hours, then W9 with 2,744 hours.

These three channels broadcast 86% of “collective life” reality TV programming between 2010 and 2019.

The Angels of Reality TV, the most popular title

In terms of the programs themselves, Les Anges de la téléréalité and its variations are by far the most broadcast program of the entire decade at 4,820 hours. The secret story lasted 2,013 hours, and finally the bronze medal with 1,314 hours goes to the Villa of Broken Hearts.

Also read: Memories of Reality TV: From the “Loft” to the “Angels”, 20 years of clashes

If, on the other hand, we concentrate on the time slot of the first part of the evening, it is the mythical Les Aventuriers de Koh Lanta program that comes first over the entire decade with 203 hours.

Overall, the number of hours devoted to so-called “collective life” reality shows in 2019 was three times as high as in 2010: 2,057 hours compared to 784. The CSA notes that the time slot that is most important for most programs is off comes from 5pm to 8pm

4 explanations for the rise of reality TV

But why then did reality TV take such a place on our screens? The Board of Governors gives four reasons. On the one hand, these are programs that have already proven themselves abroad, but also profitable programs thanks to moderate production costs.

Contrary to the assumption that these programs have significant costs (transportation abroad, large preparation and follow-up teams, etc.), the costs remain in fact lower than those of fiction.

Also Read: The Angels On NRJ12: Call For Boycott After Complaints About Harassment And Sexism

Another explanation: the channels that broadcast these programs have managed to create strong brands that allow them to differentiate themselves.

Finally, the last reason: the audience is present in all media. The first reality TV shows quickly proved their worth with regard to the audience: The M6 ​​channel achieved a share of 34.6% with Loft Story, two months later it was Koh Lanta, which had a share of 39.8% on TF1 % scored.

More and more topics

The CSA also analyzed the narrative modes of these emissions. As everyone knows, there are a multitude of types of shows now. The universes developed there touch on many topics: art or cooking competitions, holiday programs, romantic encounters, adventure games, renovation, coaching or auction programs …

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