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2. Reality’s Long Reel  > The Ordinary Star is Born

THE ORDINARY STAR IS BORN

In the aftermath of An American Family, audiences had not only grown comfortable with such unconventional and brutally honest programming, they had also come to eagerly anticipate it. Although these and other emerging styles of reality television largely offered unaffected portrayals of real people in real situations, the alluring drama of scripted television was still present. Surprisingly, reality television had proven itself also capable of telling a compelling story.

Pioneering Audience Participation

America’s Most Wanted, the longest-running series in the history of the Fox network, is regularly credited with inspiring the phenomenon of audience participation in reality television programs. With its established function of publicly profiling fugitives in hopes of assisting law enforcement in bringing them to justice, America’s Most Wanted has aired consistently for more than 20 years. Hosted by John Walsh, America’s Most Wanted is responsible for an estimated 1000 captures of lawbreakers, the majority of which were brought about through direct audience involvement.


  

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