Your “Reality” Must Be Original To Win Copyright Protection04/09/2015 By Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentSince the debut of Candid Camera in the late 1940s, unscripted television of varying genres (from game shows to documentaries) has been a staple of American television. Not until the worldwide success of shows such as Survivor, however, did the genre, and in particular the staged competition variety of unscripted “reality” television, become a dominant source of programming in the US market. Reality television often takes on a familiar pattern – as the season progresses contestants are eliminated by audience and “expert” votes leaving one person or couple to win the grand prize. The myriad ways in which to package this formula has no limits, and in light of the success of such shows, a vast number of people are creating and pitching what they believe to be both original and the next Survivor. And that leads to lawsuits.