Mark Burnett says reality TV works because of its “unpredictable nature.”

Mark Burnett says reality TV works because of its “unpredictable nature.”
In a long interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mark Burnett discusses the genre he has helpedi to define. He says the predictability of scripted shows hurts them: “In ‘CSI,’ you very well know that Bill Petersen won’t be dying this week and that they will solve the case. That’s what made the room for an unpredictable show like ours.” He sidesteps a question about editing by saying that they “create situations. This is clearly contrived situations creating genuine emotions.” He also discusses shows he likes; among them, ER, Alias, 24, The Joe Schmo Show, and Queer Eye, which he says is “absolutely great.”
+ also: four of this season’s top 10 shows were reality TV.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.