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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 English unit 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
National: The Statements of Learning for English- Year 9

Reading, viewing and interpreting information and argument texts

  • Students read and view texts that entertain, move, parody, investigate, analyse, argue and persuade. These texts explore personal, social, cultural and political issues of significance to the students’ own lives.
  • Students understand that readers and viewers may need to develop knowledge about particular events, issues and contexts to interpret texts.


  • When students write information or argument texts, they make appropriate selections of information from a few sources and attempt to synthesise and organise these in a logical way.
  • Students write imaginative texts in print and electronic mediums that contain personal, social and cultural ideas and issues related to their own lives and communities and their views of their expanding world.

State and Territory

ACT High School, Later Adolescence: Mass media texts

  • The student interprets and constructs multimodal texts.
  • The student creates products using technology.

NT Band 5+
Strand: Reading and Viewing R/V 5+.1
Texts and Contexts

  • Students critically analyse and explain the socio-cultural values, attitudes and assumptions that texts reflect and project.

QLD Level 6
Cultural: making meanings in contexts
Critical: evaluating and reconstructing meanings in texts.

  • Students recognise that texts have points of view, even when these are not explicitly stated, and with teacher assistance identify and comment on them.
  • Students use some understanding and appreciation of the deliberately constructed nature of texts to interpret other texts within the same text type and across text types.
  • Students write detailed, unified expository and imaginative texts that explore challenging and complex ideas and issues.

Strand: Texts and Contexts
Reads and views a range of texts containing challenging ideas and issues and multiple views of the- past, present and future and examines some relationships between texts, contexts, readers and producers of texts.
Identifies and critically appraises combinations of features in texts when reading and viewing a broad range of texts dealing with abstract themes and sociocultural values.
Manipulates and synthesises a wide variety of strategies for reading, viewing, critically interpreting of meaning.

Being Literate
Listening, reading and viewing

  • Students read, listen to, view and critically analyse complex texts.
  • Students analyse the ways texts are constructed to position readers, viewers and listeners.
  • Students discuss the role of context in the construction and interpretation of texts, analysing how texts are interpreted differently by individuals and groups. They discuss the social, cultural and aesthetic purposes for which texts have been constructed.

Level 7 Reading

  • Students select appropriate strategies to critically analyse and interpret a range of complex texts, justifying their interpretations with substantial evidence; critically analysing how text structure and conventions can influence a reader’s response.

Level 7 Writing

  • Students write sustained, complex texts, controlling conventions to engage with readers in different contexts; critically appraises and reviews their own writing and the writing of others, reflecting on the processes and strategies for improving their writing.

This resource is also relevant to Media Studies- Audiences, Representations and values, Reality TV genre, Media Conventions and Codes and Stereotypes.

These are extracts only. Teachers and students should consult their state’s curriculum and learning programs.
Go to The National Curriculum Statements for English

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 and write notes on the following:
    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?
    3. Reality TV is sometimes criticised for its lack of reality. What aspects of reality TV may be artificial or deliberately manufactured?
    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.
  2. Analysing the Big Brother Live Eviction clip
    View the Big Brother Live Eviction clip in detail. Write a report of about 200–300 words of the ways in which the visual and sound content throughout the clip is designed to attract and excite the TV viewing audience. Include comments on the role and behaviour of the presenter and the studio audience.
  3. Inventing your own reality TV program
    In pairs, plan your own concept for a reality TV series of three episodes about a group of school leavers. You should describe and justify what you intend to screen, the audience you are aiming to reach, how long the filming will take, and how you intend to go about producing the program on a limited budget.
  4. ‘I’m on TV!’
    Write diary extracts of the thoughts and feelings of a participant in a reality TV program.

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, UK, 2004

Go to Leigh, Allen. Big Brother, 1997

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

Alfred Hitchcock (director), Rear Window, Paramount, USA, 1954