SUMMER COURSE (Graduate level)
Reality and Documentary Television
MCC-GE 2147-001; CINE-GT 1603-001
Instructor: Susan Murray
Meets: M/T/W/TH 10-12:45; May 21-June 8, 2012
Since 2000, we have witnessed the proliferation of "reality" genres across all areas of cable and network programming schedules. While there are specific explanations for the rise of the current wave of reality, reality programming is not new to television and has developed out of and in relationship to other non-fiction television forms--specifically game shows, participation programs, magazine news programs and, of course, documentary. This course will survey the history and development of documentary and reality television and its implications for the aesthetics, form, business and culture of television. Students will develop analytical skills needed to understand the aesthetics and culture referenced and created by the documentary tradition and reality-based programming as well as the business and marketing strategies that have been instituted in relationship to it.
Susan Murray is Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU. She is the co-editor, with Laurie Ouellette, of two editions (2004, 2008) of Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture and the author of Hitch Your Antenna to the Stars: Early Television and Broadcast Stardom (2005).