Reality TV comes of age with its own fan convention

April 16, 2019

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – From gossipy housewives to lovelorn bachelors and lip-syncing drag queens, reality television is getting its own fan event.

Youth channel MTV on Tuesday announced it would host the first reality television convention, where fans and some of the people made famous by shows like “Jersey Shore,” “The Real Housewives” and “The Bachelor” will come together to celebrate the genre.

MTV, whose “The Real World” is credited with launching the modern trend for reality television in 1992, said that the RealityCon event would take place in the summer of 2020.

It will feature performances, interviews and discussions with stars and producers behind some of reality television’s most popular series across TV networks, including “Survivor,” “Big Brother”, “The Hills” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Reality television exploded in the early 2000s when shows like “American Idol,” “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and “Survivor” became some of the most-watched content on U.S. television.

These shows have also become a driving force in pop culture by increasing ethnic and sexual diversity and breaking formerly taboo topics by casting unknown people from all walks of life. “The Real World” in 1994 was the first to feature an openly gay man with HIV/AIDS on television in its series about a group of young adults living together in the same house in San Francisco.

MTV said it would announce dates and more details about RealityCon at a later stage.

Comic books and movies like “Star Wars” have held fan conventions around the world for years, often using them as the launching ground for upcoming films, games, television shows and merchandising.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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