Viewers say reality shows recruit crazies


In light of recent violence on CBS's Big Brother 2, online survey service E-Poll has concluded that a good chunk of reality TV viewers believe producers cast unstable people in reality projects on purpose in order to boost ratings.

Following up on a recent reality survey it conducted (B&C Fax 7/18), E-Poll found 51% of the 2,223 reality TV viewers they surveyed believe people like Justin Sebik, yanked from Big Brother 2 for pulling a knife on a fellow castmate, are chosen on purpose. Just 13% think that networks are doing the best they can on background checks.

As far as who would be to blame if someone was seriously injured on a reality series - something that's been predicted for NBC's stunt-heavy Fear Factor and Spy TV - E-Poll reports that 58% of its sample would say the producer or network is at fault. But 42% would say that contestants know what they are getting into. Also of note, if someone were to get seriously hurt, 69% would want the tape of that scene destroyed; 31% would say that the show must go on. - Susanne Ault