Popular television: part 2

In the new millennium, however, reality TV programs have tended to become more personal and humiliating. Fat Club, for example, followed the ups and downs of eight overweight people desperate to lose weight at a remote health club, and Wife Swap took the simple but explosive idea of two women swapping places in each other's families for two weeks. For the first week, they had to live according to the other woman's rules, but for the second week, they could dictate how the house was run. In 2003, reality humiliation reached a new low with How Clean is your House? a surprise hit involving two women who investigate some of the dirtiest homes in the country, then return later to see if the inhabitants are still following their cleaning advice. With reality TV also came interactive TV, starting with the mother of them all, Big Brother. Following the model of that program, in which viewers decide each week by vote who stays and who goes, many other elimination shows quickly appeared. The most popular ones were Pop Stars, Fame Academy, and I'm a Celebrity - Get me Out of Here, where a group of celebrities attempt to survive for two weeks in the jungle together, performing various tasks along the way. Celebrities, especially those seeking to boost their careers seem particularly keen to appear on reality shows, as successful celebrity versions of Big Brother, Driving School, Fat Club, and Fame Academy have proved.

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