It’s been about nine days and counting, but Susan Boyle’s clip from the British “reality” show Britain has Talent has so far had about 50 million hits. Prior to the New Media, you would have to rely on heavily copyrighted reruns from the original TV show. Now, the show posts it to YouTube, it goes viral around the planet, and the show’s producers are licking their lips trying to calculate how much money they will make at her next appearance. Meanwhile, after the euphoria, some questions are being raised, as by John Doyle in today’s Globe. Be careful, gentle reader, if you peruse this column: I hate to be the one to tell you this, but there is very little that is real in “reality” television, as I learned as a television producer in the 1970’s.
Globe and Mail, April 21 2009