Is Reality TV Dead? The Rise of Scripted Docudramas

Unscripted television genre with dramatic twists and colorful characters has been fueling the television shows for many years, allowing the viewers to wonder what will happen the next time the show is on.

Nevertheless, in past times, this genre used to be the most popular but at the same time now it is the major issue for such movies and their number of watchers drop significantly that’s why many people ask how long this film genre will be influenced by genre movies themselves.

At the same time, a new trend has emerged: the fact that more marquee shows are being produced now in different genres such as scripted docudramas. This article outlines the change of face of reality TV with the dramatically growing now fictionalized documentary genre.

The Evolution of Reality TV

It is shown by reality TV that the shows as occurred from the early 2000s with the likes of “Survivor,” “Big Brother” and “The Real World” which means the main idea of such TV shows is to catch people’s eyes as a result of their dingy look and this being unplanned.

Consequently, audiences addressed special attention to the actuality and the unpredictability which were the peculiarity of ordinary people, who were trying to overcome the psychologically challenging situations. On the other hand, this arrival of the genre raised the “fair criticism” issue, asking about the influence, truthfulness and ethnic fences.

Declining Viewership and Changing Tastes

Aiming for more scenes that are complex, unique, and innovative has caught the attention of many reality TV show fans but also audiences have lost interest in reality TV. I do not know how many people have become tired of reality shows that aren’t authentic and have fake pitches and stories, manufactured conflicts, instead of emphasis on truth and things that work.

In addition, the emergence of streaming platforms and the option of watching TV any time you want had caused the fragmentation of the television space and resulted in a diverse range of reality shows that no longer appeal to people who still watch TV shows on the traditional channels.

The Rise of Scripted Docudramas

Amidst the decline of reality TV, a new trend has emerged: fiction-flavored documentaries, film crews go around and have access to film people with some level of privacy. These crossover genres, therefore, incorporate a mixture of documentary-style storytelling and scripted narratives and in this manner lose the traditional distinctions between fiction and non-fiction.

Shows like “The Crown,” “The People v. O.J. Simpson: And, just like many of the other popular TV offerings, such as “American Crime Story” and “Chernobyl”, it has become a major hit and attracted lots of critical acclaim thanks to its incredible level of detail, character development and storytelling.

The Appeal of Scripted Docudramas

Scripted docudramas offer viewers the best of both worlds: a remarkable mixing of two storytelling styles such as the immersive realism of documentary filmmaking and the plot depth and character development of scripted storytelling.

The particular uniqueness of these shows is that, they draw their ideas from already existing events and personages that we all know, so that the audience is then granted an opportunity to see the human perspective and the complexity of the whole life on the planet. On the other hand, the cinematic elements and high fidelity of their shots have raised the genre to the highest level of fame and respect.

Addressing Ethical Concerns

The dramatized narratives scripted docudramas provide, while giving the artistic merit and emotional impact, weaken the documentary nature and build in ethical concerns. In contrast to commonly accepted reality TVs, which erase the line between the real and the made up events, written-for-TV docudramas acknowledge their fictional nature on purpose yet still try to stick to facts while recreating the events.

While the artistic licenses based on dramatic effects raise the debates on the roles of filmmakers and the possible influence on historical interpretation, it does add an extra entertainment value to these movies.


Reality TV is undoubtedly another area where the outlined concept faces growing competition and pressure. Therefore, the scripted docudrama phenomenon represents the new frontier in TV programming. However, this mix is not that alien to viewers as it is an amalgamation of the authenticity typical of documentaries and the narrative power of narrative films. Besides the fact, the amount of scripted documentaries may prevail in reality TV anytime soon is theory. While implying the fact that the form and content of television programmes and preferences of audiences will be somewhat changing.

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