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How Real Are Reality-Based TV Shows?

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RALEIGH — CBS'newest reality-based program, "Big Brother," is a 24-hour look into the lives of 10 people. But is it truly reality-based?

In the next 90 days, the people on "Big Brother" will be on display for everyone in the country to see. Whoever "survives" the indoor island of 28 cameras and 60 microphones wins $500,000. The question is whether the show can be considered reality-based.

"Reality-based doesn't mean it is reality. It's based on reality as we construct it," says UNC journalism professor C.A. Tuggle.

TV viewer Judy Murray says she loves to watch "Survivor" because of the interaction between the castaways.

"I like to watch it because I like to see what is making these people react to each otherm because they're talking behind each others' backs," Murray says.

CBS is hoping "Big Brother" will match the ratings success of "Survivor," which continues to be the most-watched show in America.

TV viewer Rob Turner says he plans to watch the newest program.

"It will be interesting to see. I didn't know how good "Survivor" was going to be, but now I watch it all the time," he says.

In a WRAL OnLinehot button poll, more than 55 percent visitors say they would not want to participate in a reality-based television show. Some would participate to gain fortune, and others say they would participate just for fun. Less than five percent say they would try to gain fame by appearing on such a show.


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