Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My Kid is A Star - Contestants spills Producers Manipulative Reality TV Techniques

Apparently the Producers of My Kid is A Star, to premiere on Channel 9 on Wednesday night, have had to use many reality tv tricks to ensure a watchable TV show.

The article in the Sydney Morning Herald said:

When the 10 parents featured in the local version of this US format took
their kids to the cattle call, they had no idea they'd be part of the show, let
alone encouraged to torment their children and spar with other parents. Even
when they arrived at the Dural McMansion for the two-week shoot, the show was
sold to them as a parent-and-child "team" competition.

Unfortunately for producers hell-bent on replicating the American bitch-fest, the local contestants got on like a house on fire. "We stopped off at McDonald's on the way and got to know everyone and we all seemed to click," Louise Patterson says.

Now as any good Reality TV watcher knows producers need controversy to bring in the ratings.

The Producers have edited to ensure the conflict and competitiveness is seen in the Australian version with Louise Patterson revealing how one of her more controversial lines occurred.

"If anyone touches my kid, watch out!"

"Can I explain how that came about?" she asks. "They said to me when we were doing our publicity, 'How did Max get on in the house?' And I said, 'Max was fine because he's a young man. He's one of the older kids and I didn't have to worry about him.' Then they said, 'How do you think the younger kids got on?' And I said, 'Well, I think it was probably harder for the mothers with the younger kids because you'd be very much looking after your child.' And then I hit my hand and said, 'They'd be more like, 'If anyone touches my kid, watch out!"'

However Max, Louise's son appears to have come through the process unscarred. With him saying he found the experience "really enjoyable" and is philosophical about the process.

"They want to make a good TV show to get ratings," he says. "[Tears and tantrums] are apparently good television. The producers went around to the little kids and said, 'Who's going to be brave? Who's going to bite the bullet first?' and tried to get them to kind of put bad stuff on other kids. That's the bit I thought was bordering on exploitation. The older kids knew to steer clear of it. It was the younger kids I felt sorry for because they weren't aware of how the producers can portray you."

Click here to read the full article.

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