The reasons behind reality TV's continued popularity go beyond the sensationalism and low production cost of these programs: there is much more to the genre's continued success than just escapism or "guilty pleasure" TV. The Triumph of Reality TV: The Revolution in American Television identifies and explores five key media trends reality TV has used to continually draw in viewers and ensure success. These media trends include innovations in storytelling, making emotional appeals to viewers, and applying content from television to other media such as films, music albums, webisodes, online games, and smart phone apps.
Author Leigh H. Edwards also analyzes how reality TV shows target themes of social conflict, such as changing ideas of the American family, and address common anxieties and tensions in American society such as gender, race, class, and economic struggle. A wide variety of reality shows--including American Idol, Celebrity Rehab, Jackass, Run's House, Survivor, and The Hills--are profiled. An appealing read for students, scholars, and general readers alike, this book provides fascinating insights into the complexities of a seemingly simplistic form of mass entertainment.