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RTVF330 Syllabus

RTVF330 Syllabus

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Published by Max Dawson
Schedule of readings and assignments for RTVF330 The Tribe Has Spoken: Surviving Television's New Reality.
Schedule of readings and assignments for RTVF330 The Tribe Has Spoken: Surviving Television's New Reality.

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Published by: Max Dawson on Jan 15, 2013
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RTVF 330 Culture Industries
The Tribe Has Spoken:Surviving TV’s New RealityT/TH 3-4:50 Louis 119
Your Emmy Award winning host:
Prof. Max DawsonAnnie May Swift Hall 213e: max@northwestern.edu t: @fymaxwellOffice Hours: T/Th 1-2 pm or by appointment
The dream team:
Kate Newbold e: katherine.newbold@gmail.comChris Russell e: jikuusaber@gmail.com
Course description:
Reality TV is popular, profitable, and wildly controversial. To better understand realityTV's impact on the American television industry this class examines the history,reception, and influence of one of its defining examples:
debuted inthe United States in Spring 2000. Its runaway success propelled the CBS network to thetop of the Nielsen ratings and transformed its creator Mark Burnett into one oftelevision's most sought-after producers.
also launched the current reality TVboom, inspiring a host of programs that emulated its competition format, episodestructure, and visual style. While most of these programs have long since had theirtorches snuffed,
has outwitted, outlasted, and outplayed its competition fortwenty-five seasons. The show's ongoing success makes it an ideal starting point for acritical examination of the American television industry's new reality.
Required textbooks
(available at Norris):
Bill Carter,
Desperate Networks 
(Doubleday, 2006).
Troy Devolld,
Reality TV: An Insider's Guide to TV's Hottest Market 
(MichaelWiese Productions, 2011)
All other readings will be available on Blackboard.Readings marked “ 
” are available online via links through Blackboard.
Schedule of readings
Note: This schedule is subject to change. Any alterations will be announced via email.When in doubt, check Blackboard.
Week oneTu. Jan 8 The Marooning
Survivor: Borneo 
ep 1
Th. Jan 10 Reality TV and social media
Read: RTVF330 Island Orientation PacketMark Burnett, “
: The TV Show”Anne Trubek, “Why Tweet (and How to Do It)”
 Hubspot, “How to Use Twitter for Business”“Twitter on TV: A Producer’s Guide”
 “How 'The Voice' Uses Twitter to Raise Ratings”
 Event: Social media workshop
Week twoTu. Jan 15 What was TV?
Read: Michael Curtain and Jane Shattuc, “Key Players”
Th. Jan 17 What is TV in 2013?
Read: Amanda Lotz, “Understanding Television at the Beginningof the Post-Network Era”Event: Television Critics’ Roundtable
Week threeTu.
Jan 22 What is “reality TV”?
Read: Susan Murray and Laurie Ouellette, “Introduction”(excerpt pp. 1-13)
Tu. Jan 24 Reality before “reality TV” (part 1)
Read: Craig Gilbert, “Reflections on
An American Family 
An American Family 
Week fourTu. Jan 29 Reality before “reality TV” (part 2)
Read: Chad Raphael, “The political economic origins of reali-TV”Screening:
The Real World 
Season 1, Episode 1
Th. Jan 31 TV’s new reality
Read: Ted Madger, “TV 2.0”
Week fiveTu. Feb 5 Final Project Workshop
Read: Bill Carter,
Desperate Networks 
, prologue and chapters 2,3, 4Event: Final project workshop
Th. Feb 7
The reality TV explosion
Read: Bill Carter,
Desperate Networks 
, chapters 5, 6, 9, 10, 14
Week sixTu. Feb 12 The Charmin Café
Read: Amanda Lotz, “Advertising After the Network Era”
Th. Feb 14 The merge (midterm exam)
Week sevenTu. Feb 19 Real work
 Read: Heather Hendershott, “Belabored Reality”Todd Cunningham, “Reality TV: The Invisible Front inHollywood’s Labor Wars”
Th. Feb 21 Casting reality TV
Read: Dan Gheesling,
How a Normal Guy Got on Reality TV 
(excerpts TBA)Vicki Mayer, “Reality Casters: New Jobs in and Out ofHollywood”Event: Class visit from Dan Gheesling (winner,
Big Brother 10 
Big Brother 14 
Week eightTu. Feb 26 Writing reality TV
Read: Jim Milio and Melissa Jo Peltier, “Does Reality Still Bite?”“Harsh Reality: Working Conditions for Reality TV Writers”Lee Abbott, “Reality Check”
Th. Feb 28 Producing reality TV
Read: Troy DeVolld,
Reality TV 
, chapters 5, 6, 7Event: Reality TV producers roundtable

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