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reality TV reviews, news, and analysis since 2000

PBS's 1973 show An American Family was the first reality TV show: a narrative, unscripted, documentary-style series that followed the Loud family, including Pat, Bill, and Lance, who was TV's first openly gay character.

Two-hour version of An American Family, edited by original filmmakers, will air on PBS

An American Family has been turned into a fictional film for HBO and has been rebroadcast on a few PBS stations, but now viewers nationwide will be able to watch the 12-hour series compressed into a two-hour version called An American Famiy: Anniversary Edition that was edited by Alan and Susan Raymond, the people who …

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Craig Gilbert calls HBO’s American Family film “fallacious”; Louds paid by HBO to stay quiet

HBO debuted its film about the creation of An American Family, but the series’ producer has called the film’s plot fiction–and as usual, reality is more interesting and complicated. While the performances in Cinema Verite were strong, and the actors looked surprisingly like their real-life counterparts, I was somewhat disappointed by the film, which was …

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HBO releases teaser trailer for Cinema Verite, the movie about An American Family

In April, HBO will debut Cinema Verite, a scripted film about the creation of the first unscripted, narrative documentary series: An American Family. It stars James Gandolfini as Craig Gilbert, the filmmaker who produced the series, and Tim Robbins and Diane Lane as Bill and Pat Loud. The network released a teaser trailer Tuesday, and …

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