Originally Posted by JihadJake
I think it has just been commonly excepted that most reality shows are mostly real but they gotta make up some drama to make it more entertaining. Its kinda like how wrestling is real but it isn't
This is right on the money. Reality shows are usually "real" to a point, but there is manufactured drama. A few examples:
Big Brother - The people in the Diary Room influence players, they give them leading questions and bring up what would be best for television. Conversations and happenings in the house are frequently shown out of order on the TV show to add more drama.
Storage Wars - One of the buyers, Barry, had never been to a storage auction prior to his appearances in the show. The show's executive producer/narrator, Thom Beers, is friends with Barry and asked him to star in the show. There have been instances where between shots, items change positions in a storage unit even though nobody is allowed in the unit until it has been sold.
Survivor - Much of the island scenery is manufactured. They produce and paint tribal looking figures and add them to the surroundings. The cameramen interact with the castaways quite often.
Pretty much every kitchen/bar/home makeover show is more heavily manufactured than reality shows that have cash prizes. There are a lot of actors hired to make the show more entertaining. Hell's Kitchen has hired actors to play customers and walk out/give shocked reactions.