Dutch win “Worst Innovation of the Decade”
Reality TV – a Dutch invention – has been voted the worst innovation of the decade.
The survey was conducted by UK growth and Innovation firm The Foundation and included a “Most-loved” and an “Innov-hates” list. Following reality TV on the “innov-hates” list was, among other things, Facebook and similar, pop-up advertising, paid-for plastic bags, and public bike schemes.
But back to reality TV, which most people assume was invented in the US.
Well, actually, if you really go back to the beginning, they’re right – reality TV traces its roots to 1947 with Candid Camera, the well-known TV show capturing people in unscripted situations.
But if you look at the current generation of reality TV, it all began in 1999 right here in the Netherlands with the very first version of Big Brother.
Much like the current version, the original show had a group of strangers (12) locked up for 100 days in a house full of cameras streaming live video 24-7 over the internet. Each day the highlights were compiled into a TV show. Social pressure on the participants was increased by forcing them to nominate each other to be voted off the show by viewers. The last person left in the house won a cash prize.
Success around the world
The show was an instant success and, since 2000, has been exported to 58 other countries. Spinoffs include Survivor, the Idol series, The Amazing Race, America’s Next Top Model, Dancing With The Stars, The Apprentice, and I’m A Celebrity – Get Me Out Of Here and have been successfully syndicated around the world. It would seem that, despite The Foundation’s findings, the format has been incredibly successful.
By-the-way, in case you’re wondering which innovations of the last decade were the best-loved by Brits, they include home broadband, online shopping, and Google.
RNW / Ashleigh Elson