Era’s in Television Pt.1-Family Television and Game Shows

Era’s in Television Pt.1-Family Television and Game Shows


Television shows in the late 80’s or early 90’s are completely different from what is on television today. There was a time when prime time television was full of light-hearted family comedies such as Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Full House, Sister, Sister, and who could forget the Cosby Show. Family oriented shows such as these were some of the top-rated show of the 1990’s. There were also other shows that were not so family oriented such as Martin or Living Single that also ranked among the top of the rating charts.

For the most part, all of the shows listed above are not family oriented, they may have adult jokes, suggest inappropriate behavior and may even have carefully choreographed sex scenes. However, parents could enjoy their favorite television shows with their children in the room with the comfort of knowing nothing too extreme was going to happen in the event that they were actually paying attention.

In the mid 1990’s television went through a change. Game Shows became just as popular as these scripted shows, if not more popular. ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire,’ which debuted in 1998, was one of the top-rated game shows of the new millennium, its ratings rivaled many of today’s top-rated shows.

Un-scripted or reality, television, on the other hand, was virtually non-existent. By the new millennium, reality and competition-based reality shows were the shows taking the number one spots on primetime television. America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) and Making the Band (MTB) are examples of competition-based reality show. In these shows, the contestants compete for one grand prize.

In ANTM, the contestants compete for modeling contract and 100k. The contestants judged, on a weekly basis after that weeks’ photoshoot, by a panel of judges with one judge being supermodel Tyra Banks, who is also the producer of the show and owns the rights to the show through her production company Bankable Productions.

In MTB, contestants’ competed to be a part of a group managed by super produce Sean Combs, who is also the shows’ creator. Contestants from both of the shows are placed in a fabulous living environment forced to live together which has proven to be a recipe for success.

MTV’s ‘The Real World’ takes the credit for being the first reality show which premiered in 1992. Viewers got a first-hand look at the backstabbing, lying, unscripted sex on camera, and inebriated individuals; before ‘The Real World,’ this had never been done. ‘The Real World’ ultimately became the building block for many reality and competition based reality shows such as ANTM and MTB.