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From the website From Wireless To Web.
Video clip synopsis – An excerpt from a live 'eviction' episode of the popular reality TV series Big Brother. Scott Goodings describes his experience of watching reality TV.
Year of production - 2005
Duration - 3min 20sec
Tags - audiences, consumers, entertainment, media production, reality television, television programs, see all tags


Reality TV

For copyright reasons this clip is not available as a download.

About the Video Clip


This video clip is an excerpt from the popular reality TV series Big Brother, courtesy of Endemol Southern Star and Network Ten. The video clip is on the From Wireless to Web website, produced in 2005.

The interview with Scott Goodings was recorded for the website.

Scott Goodings is a self-proclaimed 'TV freak’ and walking archive. You can view his full biography at From Wireless to Web.

The website is a selective history of broadcast media in Australia. Decade by decade, from radio and newsreels to TV and the internet, this history shows how the Australian broadcast media developed and shaped the way Australians see themselves.

From Wireless to Web is a Film Australia production in association with Roar Film.

Curriculum Focus


In this module students will learn

  • that reality TV may not have a great deal in common with reality, but is often a highly-planned, manipulated media reconstruction
  • to observe, discuss, analyse and critique an example of reality TV (Big Brother)
  • to experiment with planning an example of their own reality TV program
  • to create a scenario examining reality TV from an alternative viewpoint.

Curriculum links
Creating, Making and Presenting
Students create and make media that explore ideas, issues, concepts and themes.Media productions should reflect sensitivity, commitment and an understanding of aesthetic consideration. Students should demonstrate technical and structural elements in an imaginative, skilful and coherent way to make media. Students record their working processes and document the development and presentation of their media.
This is a guide only. Teachers and students should consult their state’s curriculum and learning programs.

Background Information


Reality TV: Better Than Real Life
Twelve young people locked in a purpose-built camera-infested house at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, doing occasional tasks but mostly doing nothing, 24-7, for up to 85 days … is this a concept for a TV show? After three series Big Brother – the reality game show that caters to and celebrates the voyeur – has proved to be one of the all-time ratings winners of the new millennium.

The first series of Big Brother Australia screened on Ten in 2001. Key moments in that first series included the infamous 'dancing doona’ incident featuring Christina and Peter, Andy luring Gordon into a bondage session, Peter kicking the chicken, Sara-Marie’s 'bum dance’, gay Johnnie and Sara-Marie kissing, and Ben and Blair’s naked greyhound race.

Each week the viewing audience voted – by SMS – to evict one housemate until only one remained, proving once again the pull of cross-platform applications that empower viewers to interact with the 'event’.

It seems Australian audiences prefer reality TV to real life. More than 2.2 million viewers tuned in to the launch of Big Brother 3 (in 2003) in the much-hyped ratings war between Channel Ten and Channel Nine’s current affairs program 60 Minutes. Big Brother captured a 31 per cent share of the national audience, beating Nine’s 30 per cent and Seven’s 25 per cent.

Classroom Activities

  1. Getting started
    In class, view the interview with Scott Goodings about Big Brother Up Late and the clip from Big Brother Live Eviction, then discuss:
    1. Where does the term ‘Big Brother’ come from, and what was it originally supposed to mean? If you don’t know the answers, carry out some library or Internet research about the author George Orwell and his novel, 1984.
    2. Make a list of other reality TV programs you have viewed on commercial television. In what ways are they similar to, and different from, Big Brother and each other? Are there any reality TV programs on the ABC and SBS networks and if so, are they different in content from those on commercial networks?
  2. Reality TV is sometimes criticised for its lack of reality. What aspects of reality TV may be artificial or deliberately manufactured?
  3. Reality TV has also been cricitised for its lack of quality in the production values. View a non fiction TV program from another genre; eg: travel, home, quiz program etc and compare the style of production with a reality program like Big Brother.
  4. What other TV genres are similar to the reality genre? Consider Infotainement programs where non actors also appear in segments featuring home renovation or garden makeovers?
  5. List the similarities and differences between the reality and infotainement genres.
  6. Analysing the Big Brother Live Eviction clip
    1. View the Big Brother Live Eviction clip several times.
    2. How is the visual and sound content throughout the clip designed to attract and excite the TV viewing audience. Include comments on the role and behaviour of the presenter and the studio audience.
  7. Creating and Presenting your own reality TV program
    In groups plan your own concept for the first episode of a reality TV series that would appeal to your age group. Your concept must be different from programs already produced.
    1. Your concept should be presented on a large poster as a storyboard or story line and characters depicted. You may wish to use photographs or pictures cut from magazines.
    2. Think about the title of the program and how it will appear on screen. Using the Big Brother concept, you may wish to name your program after a book, song or other text.

Further Resources


Go to From Wireless to Web for more about the history of broadcast media in Australia.

Go to Trinity College, PL Duffy Resource Centre, Reality Television

Read Reality TV: Audiences and Popular Factual Television by Annette Hill

Read Big Brother by Allen Leigh

Go to Screen Education for excellent articles and study guides for critically deconstructing the reality genre and using reality TV in English