I’m always looking to expand my reality TV knowledge to embrace a broader scope on the genre, so this morning I went to a business breakfast meeting hosted by The Writer’s Bootcamp in Santa Monica. The topic of the day was reality TV and the guest of honor was Jenny Daly.
Ms. Daly is the President and Executive Producer of T Group Productions. Her credits are massive, just take a look at her bio:
A long time producer, Jenny has extensive experience in the world of reality television. With T Group, Jenny has gone on to produce hits such as Storage Hunters for TruTV, Invention USA for History Channel, Private Chefs of Beverly Hills for the Food Network, and Secret Celebrity for E! Entertainment. Currently, Jenny and T Group are in production on the second seasons of Storage Hunters and Invention USA, as well as Mystery Diners for the Food Network, Popped for Fuse, Wiseguys for Logo, and Container Wars and Swamp Hunters for TruTV. Before establishing T Group, Daly was a Partner at Go Go Luckey Productions, where she served as Executive Producer on hit shows such as Fashionista Diaries for Soapnet, and Night Club Confessions for Fox Reality. Prior to working with Go Go, Daly was Vice President of Development at E! Entertainment, responsible for developing The Simple Life, Love is in the Heir, Fight for Fame, Last Bride Standing, and Starveillance, and for Style Network amongst many others.
Jenny has been wildly successful in her career and what she had to say was truly enlightening. I just wanted to highlight a few interesting points she made that lend themselves to the reality show casting process.
She spoke a lot about the docu-soap vs. formatted reality television, and the selling and pitching of shows, characters and reality tv ideas of each.
For the purposes of a ‘normal’ person looking to land a spot on a reality television show, I think formatted shows are the way to go. These are the more traditional reality shows on the air, and all you and your killer personality need to do is to fit into the outline of what the show is about – be it a dating show like The Bachelorette, a competition show like The Amazing Race, or a talent show like X Factor.
Docu-soaps are more character driven, like Keeping Up With The Kardashians or Swamp People. In order to get an entire show created around you or your family or your oddball job, you must have a supremely compelling story that can be sold to a wide audience. Not that a ‘normal’ person couldn’t totally land a docu-soap, they are just harder to do. And remember, many reality TV stars got their start on a formatted show and became so popular that they then transitioned into a Docu-style show.
Whichever one is right for you, Jenny was very clear that in order to be a contender for either, you need to be the type of person that could stop her in her tracks if she saw you walking down the street.
What is it about you that would make a person do a double take?
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