Kinds of television shows

Posted: November 29th, 2013





Kinds of television shows

Television shows or TV shows are broadcasted content that are shown for public viewing. They may be a one-time project or a continuing series that is periodically shown on television. Series having a limited number of episodes are called miniseries while unlimited series that run yearly are called seasons. Unscripted TV shows are open shows that are not planned with a set script are organized by the television crew, the scriptwriters and show owners. However, they are manipulated to fit a set running time and an expected result.

Talk shows

Talk shows are television programs that comprise of one individual or a group of individuals who engage in discussions on various topics that are controlled by a host. Talk shows regularly bring in different guests who are experts in different fields that are being discussed for the day. In other instances, one guest is invited to discuss their profession with the host or hosts. A talk show called a call-in show has the reception of live phone calls from viewers at home, in the office or traveling. In-show callers are included to question the guest about certain issues that he/she may be able to better advice (Parsons 45).

Within many different countries, talk shows have been an intriguing feature in television. Within East Asia, talk shows are planned in detailed ways that may feature comedic mockery, musical performances and talent displays. In Japan, the talk shows are mostly made up of a panel of hosts and co-hosts who are freelance talented comedians and famous people although one or two hosts maintain an appearance in all shows. One of the most renowned talk show hosts is Oprah Winfrey who hosted a show that brought in different celebrities from various fields. Apart from the regular talk shows on fashion, politics and lifestyle, there are talk shows on motor vehicles like Top Gear and sports shows (Nyre 34, 76).

Reality shows

These programs contain unscripted content that may include drama, humor or real-life events involving normal people. This is different from using professional actors who play written roles. The genre has a broad range of programs that may include game shows, quiz shows, voyeurism or surveillance shows. Examples of popular reality shows include Big Brother, Survivor and The Bachelorette. Reality shows bring out the different lifestyles of various cultures that have been strategically advertised to attract viewers. Participants of these shows are usually placed in foreign and abnormal environments and coerced to act in a particular scripted manner. Reality shows are also referred to as reality television (Balkin 230).


            These are television programs that consist of a wide range of factual films that record the different aspects of real life with a purpose of conserving history or exposing a certain event in society. It is made up of original characters that neither play any roles nor read from scripts. Documentaries display different aspects in their actuality. The producers of these documentaries select interesting or controversial topics that capture the viewers’ attention. Recent documentaries that have had great viewer reception include Fahrenheit 9/11, An Inconvenient Truth and Super Size Me. All films cover real life occurrences that happened to people or countries.

Scripted TV Shows

These are television shows that follow a written script that is made by a director. Script shows may be fictional or real, educational or recreational.

Soap Operas

Soap operas or soaps are episodes of fictitious programs that are aired on television. These shows were historically aired during the peak hours of seven to nine in the evening when most viewers were in their homes. Soaps have compelling scripts that develop within a storyline. They have individual story threads that interconnect with the bigger story. The main features that set soap operas aside are the focus on relationships, families, moral conflicts and other social issues. The characters are always attractive, dramatic and wealthy and are usually set in the corporate environment. The decline of soap operas since 2000 has been largely due to shifting interests by viewers to reality shows.


These are shows displaying elements of drama combined with humor. In comedies, the shows are typically short and run for about thirty minutes. These shows have dramatic storylines that are dotted with funny interjections in between the major theme for the show or episode. Most comedies are also serialized in that events that took place earlier having an effect on the later episodes. Things that the character had done in previous episodes often catch up with them in the later episodes. They are intended to entertain the audiences by creating amusement through political satire and satire to portray people or events that can be considered ridiculous (Chambers 102-07).


The word sitcom is a shortened version of a situation comedy comprising of actors within a common environment such as the workplace. Sitcoms are characterized by the background laughter that is made by studio audience during the recording period. Sitcoms also have written storylines but their characters are more closely knit in that a set of characters appear on the same sitcom for a particular season before minor cast changes can occur. Different characters in sitcoms exhibit different forms of humor that comes out as running gags in the middle of the storyline. Within the world, the American black sitcoms that began airing around 1970s were a favorite for many viewers (Stark 22).



















Balkin, Karen. Reality Tv. San Diego, Calif: Greenhaven Press, 2004. Print.

Chambers, Samuel A. The Queer Politics of Television. London: I. B. Tauris, 2009. Print.

Nyre, Lars. “The Broadcast Public and Its Problems.” Javnost. 18.2 (2011): 5-18. Print.

Parsons, Laura. “Reality Show: Tim O’kane Illuminates the Details.” Virginia Living. 6.6 (2008): 37. Print.

Stark, Steven D. Glued to the Set: The 60 Television Shows and Events That Made Us Who We Are Today. New York: Free Press, 1997. Print.

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