10 Top TV Survival Shows and Reality Shows

12I love survival shows and reality shows, and want to share some of my favorites with you. TV survival and reality shows are instructional, a reenactment of a true story, a dangerous occupation or an adventure, and make us feel like we have experienced the harsh struggle right along with the featured people.

We’ve all seen wilderness survival, urban survival, crab fishing in the Bering Sea and all sorts of great subjects, allowing us to learn and be entertained at the same time.

It is hard to pick, but here are a few of these wonderful programs. They are from a variety of channels including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Outdoor Channel, Spike TV, truTV and CBS. I know there are more out there, but in this article we’ll try to pick the cream of the crop.

* Survivor from CBS combines wilderness survival as a team player and as individuals in this competition for a top prize of $1,000,000. Players need to outwit, outplay and outsurvive the others, as the competitors are eliminated at different stages. This is one of the first and best TV reality shows, and has lasted quite some time.

* Deadliest Catch from Discovery Channel features crab fishing in the Bering Sea, and follows several boats and crews during the different crab fishing seasons. These are tough captains and fisherman in one of the most dangerous occupations around. This program portrays the difficulties of the weather, working conditions and the personal stories of each crew member. This is another one of my favorite TV reality shows, and continues to be watched by many fans.

* Dual Survival, one of the Discovery Channel survival shows, features both survival experts Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury. This program is both instructional and entertaining, and shows a variety of climates and conditions. Cody Lundin is more of the hippie type minimalist/survivalist and Dave Canterbury has a military/hunting survivalist background. Both men come from unique perspectives, giving the viewers great insight and knowledge.

* Man vs. Wild features Bear Grylls, who served with the United Kingdom Special Forces. This is another one of Discovery Channel survival shows, and puts Bear in different locations all over the world. Man vs. Wild keeps your attention, and gives another way to survive the elements in both wilderness and urban environments.

* The Best Defense: Survival! is from one of the Outdoor Channel survival shows. This program’s hosts are Michael Bane, Michael Janich and Rob Pincus, who also host The Best Defense. This program is highly instructional, showing urban survival skills with episodes on the survival room, food, water, medical, security, transportation/bugout, bugin/shelter in place. Urban survival supplies and skills are a great addition for most viewers, giving instruction and plans for a variety of situations.

* Surviving Disaster from Spike TV, led by Navy SEAL Cade Courtley, is also one of the best survival shows I have ever seen. Surviving Disaster episodes include Hijack, Towering Inferno, Hurricane, Earthquake, Home Invasion, Avalanche, Lost at Sea, Mall Shooting, Nuclear Attack and Pandemic. Cade Courtley and his expert instruction could save your life, so please watch and pay close attention to this excellent program on Spike TV.

* I Shouldn’t Be Alive from Animal Planet reenacts true survival stories. There is something different about a program when you know that it really happened. Unlike the other programs, this one has the survivor tell their own personal story, with amazing real survival situations. They range from mountaineering, plane crashes, lost at sea, lost in the Outback of Australia and many other life-threatening ordeals. Animal Planet has the story reenacted, with the real survivor narrating the events. These are truly amazing survival stories.

* The Amazing Race is another of CBS TV reality shows, and is an adventure and competition between teams. Each pair is given instruction and limited resources to travel between a variety of locations, and tasks have to be completed along the way. After each stage, the last team to arrive at the destination is eliminated. This show is extremely popular.

* Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura on truTV may not be your typical program, but in order to survive, you need to know what is really going on in the world. Jesse Ventura and the investigative team from truTV dig deep to research, do interviews and present the facts behind difficult conspiracy theories. Episodes include subjects such as Lyme Disease, secret societies, Wallstreet, JFK Assassination, HAARP (weather modification), Big Brother, 9/11 and many other interesting topics.

*Expedition Impossible on ABC is one of the newest TV survival reality shows, and looks to be an excellent adventure competition. This program comes from Executive Producer Mark Burnett, who also produces Survivor and The Apprentice. Expedition Impossible features 13 3-person teams, as they must complete a stage of the journey each week, with 10 stunning legs to travel. The first team to finish wins $50,000 for each member and a brand new Ford Explorer. This will be an excellent survival and reality show.

These are some of my favorites, and I hope you enjoy them too. As mentioned earlier, there are so many more TV survival shows and reality shows that are on now and from the past that are great too, but these are my 10 top picks. Education and fun combined is surely the best way to keep the mind sharp.

How to Enjoy Your TV Show Without Disturbing Others

11The challenge

The challenge many of us are facing while watching a good TV show with sound at our most comfortable level is that we may be disturbing persons around us. These people may not be interested in our TV show, and especially not the sound from it which may be perceived by them as noise.

The situation

Let us say you are watching your favorite TV show. You really want to enjoy everything – sound and picture. There are other persons in the room. They may have other interests and does not care much about your TV program. Perhaps they want to do some reading and wants quiet surroundings. Therefore, they may kindly request you to turn down the sound. As you well understands the reason for their kind request, you turn down the sound a little bit. The sound level is still acceptable to you, but not at your preferred level any more. But as you are in a cooperative mood, you accept the situation until a new request comes along.

Turn down the sound a little bit more, please.

The compromise

When you have found the balance between you’re enjoying sound level and their perceived annoying sound level… you and they might be equally unhappy. So it is a balanced compromise! The dissatisfaction is equally shared. A good compromise? This is a compromise most people make is a situation like this. But sound level is no longer at you preferred level – and the people around you may have enjoyed more silence.

The solutions

The are several good product solutions on the market. All of them involves a good headset. Such a good headset serves at least 3 purposes:

  1. If the headset is of good quality, the sound quality will be excellent – a lot better than from the TV speakers.
  2. The sound is heard in stereo – a big “night and day” advantage.
  3. If the headset is equipped with big earpads – the headset will block out much of the surrounding “noise”.

There are many good headsets on the market – wireless headphones for TV, Cable wired headsets and Bluetooth audio receiving headsets.

  • Wireless headphones for TV is especially made for this purpose. Price and quality varies.
  • Cable bound headsets which plugs directly into your TV’s “line-out” port may give good sound. Price and quality varies. One disadvantage is the cable across the floor which you by accident may stumble into.
  • Bluetooth headset wirelessly connected to (paired with) a Bluetooth transmitter with the input signal from the “Line-out” or the SPDIF port (optical digital output port) of your TV. Please note that a Bluetooth headset also can be used to listen to music from other devices as well, like from your smart phone, tablet and your PC.

Learn How to Use DISH to Search for Shows

10Learn how to search for shows with DISH. I’m here to explain some steps to search for shows using the remote controller. These tips are for receivers with standard menu controls other versions are available.

To see what is coming up on other channels press the UP or DOWN ARROW while the Browse Banner is open.

  1. While watching a program, press BROWSE
  2. Use the UP and DOWN ARROWS to browse current programs and the RIGHT ARROW to browse future programs.
  3. Press SELECT

When a current program is selected, the receiver will tune to that channel. If a future program is chosen, the Create Timer screen will display. If the receiver is a DVR the set up schedule for reoccurring events will appear.

Using Search to Find a Program

Find programs to watch by using the Search feature of the receiver. This feature will search channels, including over-the-air channels (if an over-the-air antenna is connected to the receiver), and find programs that match keywords that are entered.

Using the Search Feature

  1. Press # for Search
  2. Search – Enter search criteria and select search
  3. Highlight a program from the results list
  4. Press Select

Search for events using one of two ways

  1. Select Title to search for the words that appear in the title of a program.
  2. Select Info to search for words that are in the program description or title.

Enter the search word(s) in the Search Criteria Field in one of two ways:

  1. Use the on-screen keyboard
  2. Use the letters on the NUMBER PAD.

If a program that is on now is selected, the receiver tunes to that program. If a future program is chosen, the Create Timer Screen will display. If the receiver is a DVR the set up a schedule for reoccurring events will appear.

Using Search History

While searching for programs or other information, your receiver builds a history. Use the Search History to re-search programming instead of typing the information in again.

Note: Use the EDIT or DELETE options to change or delete Search keywords.

  1. Press # to Search
  2. Select History
  3. Select Item from the List
  4. Select Search

Finding a Program by its Theme

List and choose programs by the theme of their contents, for example, just movies or just sports. Quickly list programs based on that theme, and choose the program desired. This feature also categorizes programs over-the-air channels (if an over-the-air antenna is connected to the receiver.

  1. Press LEFT ARROW (Themes)
  2. Select a Themes category
  3. Highlight a program from the list and press SELECT

If a program that is on now is selected, the receiver tunes to that program. If a future program is chosen, the Create Timer Screen will display. If the receiver is a DVR the set up a schedule for reoccurring events will appear.

More Tips

  • Press INFO to get more information about the program you highlighted.
  • Press VIEW LIVE TV to cancel almost any screen and return to watching TV.
  • Skip forward 24 hours (and then back again) at a time in the Program Guide by pressing the SKIP FWD (SKIP BACK) button on the remote control.

Five Essential Steps For Developing Your Own Reality TV Show Or Documentary Film

9These five steps will help you set out on the path towards developing your own reality TV show or documentary film with a professional, well thought out concept and a solid 30 second pitch.

1. THE HOMEWORK: The first step in developing your show or documentary film is research. As you begin flushing out your idea, do your homework. Think of all the reality TV shows you’ve seen in your lifetime. Which ones did you enjoy most? Why? Make notes of them and actively search for and try to find the most successful shows resembling your concept and ideas. You are going to need those in order to write an effective “log line” for your Reality TV style online video series, program or blog.

2. THE TREATMENT: Step two in the process of creating a sound TV show or documentary concept, is to write a one-page treatment. If you are writing a treatment for a reality TV program or documentary film, then begin the treatment with a single solid and well-written paragraph that grabs the reader’s attention and briefly introduces them to the each of the themes you will cover in greater detail in the paragraphs below it. Dead simple… Right?

3. THE LOG LINE: Once you have a solid treatment down you can move on to step three. You will need to create a truly effective log line for your reality TV show or documentary film. Remember that a Log Line is a brief summary of your TV show or documentary concept, it should give a brief synopsis of the main plot, and what makes it different or unique, as well as what makes it similar, to other programs.

4. THE STORYBOARDS: The fourth step in developing a good reality TV show or documentary film concept, is to illustrate your point and that means creating storyboards to visualize your concept. You want to give the reader a visual feel for your TV show or documentary. Do some homework on branding techniques and search for royalty free images that will help illustrate your story. If your concept is for a reality TV show or even for a documentary film or series, don’t be afraid to shoot stills with a digital camera or use stock photography to create your storyboards.

5. THE ONE SHEET: The final step in developing your concept for a TV show or documentary film is to put all of the pieces together into a single one sheet document that includes your log line, edited copy, a few key images and a brief synopsis of your reality TV show or documentary film concept. For an reality TV show or documentary film producer, this is the equivalent to a head shot for an actor or model, or a sizzle reel for a director or cinematographer. It’s your calling card and the one thing anybody will ever really read all the way through. You need to grab the reader’s attention immediately or it will quickly end up under a pile of other really great ideas, or most likely, under another thousand or so really mediocre ones.

Utilize each of these steps to focus on telling your full story in a clear and succinct fashion. The reader will appreciate it and will likely give it do time and consideration, which is likely to be 30 seconds or less. But, then again, it only takes an instant to make a good decision. Believe me, the media industry is beaming with content created in this exact way! If you follow the general guidelines in these examples you will have a short document that explains your brand vision clearly and professionally.

Which TV Shows Have Slot Machine Potential?

8Which of the current generation of TV shows, or past, might make a good slots game? With the Sex and the City Slot Machine the biggest thing in the Vegas casinos right now, there must be plenty of designers looking at adaptations.

The first thing slots designers are looking for now is something that both sexes enjoy, and Bones can definitely fit into this category. Bones has good looking male and female leads in David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, that will attract guys and girls alike. They’d certainly make good slots characters, as might some of their sidekicks.

The slots could also appeal to guys with some slightly gruesome tools of their forensic anthropology work, and what might be better than a bonus game that had you trying to get the two main characters, Brennan and Booth together. Come on licensees, work at it!

There is also definitely potential in a Seinfeld slot, even though the series has been finished for a while. With all the catch phrases that the show inspired, there are lots of room for good animations and video clips to make a really entertaining video slot game. Need I say anything else other than “They’re real – AND they’re spectacular”.

There is a good enough cast again to make symbols with Jerry, Elaine, George, Kramer and Newman and lots of potential for different bonuses. The “Get George a Job bonus”, the Elaine dating bonus – so many ideas. It’s just a shame that the image rights might put this slot machine out of reach of the marketeers.