Reality shows battle for supremacy
IT'S official - Toowoomba residents are becoming addicted to reality television.
It is almost impossible to turn on your television at night without being bombarded by a new, sensational and cutting edge reality television series.
From MasterChef to Dancing With The Stars, Australia's Got Talent to The X Factor or The Farmer Wants a Wife to Survivor - the sky seems the limit to what we can tune into.
Love them or hate them, one thing is for sure they are here to stay.
University of Southern Queensland associate lecturer (media studies) Andrew Mason said our obsession with reality TV had stemmed from one show that was set to make a comeback this year.
"There is no doubt that Big Brother was the grand-daddy of them all," Mr Mason said.
"Reality television is hugely popular with audiences because we like to see ordinary people on TV because we can relate to them.
"Economically, reality TV shows are gold mines for the networks," he said.
This week, the reality TV show season kicked off in earnest with all the major networks vying for audience numbers.
New series, The Voice, wiped the floor and set a new benchmark with 4.1 million viewers across Australia tuning in for the premiere on Sunday night.
"If you know a show works in one country, it will definitely work in another," Mr Mason said.
"It is actually a very smart business model.
"However you must remember that while the people are real, the shows are heavily edited," he said.
Irrespective of your views on the shows, Mr Mason believes reality TV is here to stay.
"Ultimately, they are extremely popular with audiences," he said.
"The shows that encourage audience participation are the ones that generally succeed.
"There are two simple reasons why we are seeing a plethora of reality TV shows on our screens at night: a) they are popular; and b) they work."