NewsReality TV in transition - Shona Fraser tells

Reality TV in transition – Shona Fraser tells

“DSDS” juror from the very beginning: has been on the German TV scene for more than 20 years and has been responsible for successful shows. Here she is talking about the “Love Island” project.

Berlin – On Monday at 8:15 p.m. it’s back to business: This time the flirt show “Love Island” takes place on Mallorca. Shona Fraser from RTLzwei is one of the makers of the format.

In the dpa interview, the industry expert tells what makes reality TV successful. Naked facts are “at least not a hindrance,” she says.

Question: Dear Ms. Fraser, what has changed in more than 20 years of reality TV?

Answer: Television has to constantly reinvent itself. This applies to entertainment formats and especially to reality TV. With the start of the first “Big Brother” season around the turn of the millennium, RTLzwei launched one of the first major reality formats on the German market. A lot has changed since then, and many limits have been tested over the past 20 years. At the moment, however, I am finding that “harder, further, higher” no longer applies. The audience and the cast want to be treated on an equal footing and with respect.

Question: What does it take for a program to be successful?

Answer: Almost every exciting story is based on the hero’s journey, this applies to plays, films and series as well as reality TV. The hero leaves his familiar surroundings, throws himself into adventure, goes through an external and internal journey and returns changed. However, our protagonists are real people. Therefore, we have to deal with them responsibly and tell their story compassionately, only then can a bond with the audience develop. In addition, programs have to have their finger on the pulse and repeatedly question genre conventions.

Question: Haven’t you cast all of Germany at some point?

Answer: That is exactly what is great about our job! We get to know a lot of new people and thus also experience how much the values of the generations are changing. When I was 20 myself, I wanted to rebel and, above all, have parties. At “Love Island”, on the other hand, we get to know sporty and ambitious people who act in a disciplined, reflective and forward-looking manner. I consider it a privilege to get to know so many great people who keep surprising me. And don’t forget: Many serious relationships developed on “Love Island”, even a pregnancy resulted from one of the seasons. So if you want to find love with us, you can find it.

Question: How do you shoot a flirt show in Corona times?

Answer: Corona has indeed presented us with a great challenge that we did not know before. At “Love Island” last year, in close coordination with the local authorities, we set new standards with a close-knit test concept, a quarantine obligation and production in isolation. In this way we were able to successfully break the chains of infection. We have successfully applied this concept in “Kampf der Realitystars” and has now become a standardized process for all productions – as long as it is necessary.

Question: How much nudity can a reality format tolerate?

Answer: At least it is not a hindrance – who would want to take part in a dating format on an arctic island? Seriously: whether people wear a lot or a little depends on the show concept and the story. With “Adam sucht Eva” we were able to unleash a long-running hit on our sister station RTL. There singles get to know each other naked in a dreamlike location. More authenticity on a physical level is not possible, but this is an exception with reality formats. We will of course continue to develop the format and here too the RTLzwei humor has a large place. Both the audience and the people in front of the camera at “Adam sucht Eva” should have a lot of fun together in the Garden of Eden.

Many fans

Many fans of the RTL show “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” still know Shona Fraser as a juror for the first two seasons. The native British is above all successful as a director and producer. Fraser was involved in the talent show “Popstars”.

Question: You were born in Newcastle. What can we learn from the British on reality?

Answer: A nice question! I can already see that the industry in my old home is bolder and more willing to experiment. I think that would also be good for the German market. I would also be happy if media journalists in particular deal with the genre in a more differentiated way and classify the actual craft. However, this would have to happen regardless of personal sensitivities and personal taste. Because we TV makers can learn from well-founded, albeit harsh, reviews. And that makes the program better at the end of the day. In Great Britain it is not a taboo for serious daily newspapers to report regularly on “Love Island”. Maybe it’s also because the British don’t take themselves so seriously. dpa

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