I answered this for the most in my blog post. But I will add a few more here: Catfish, Deadliest Catch, River Monsters, The Amazing Race, Duck Dynasty, Goldrush, Restaurant Makeover, Cake Wars, Iron Chef, Chopped, Mythbusters…I know I’m missing a few, but those come to mind along with the ones I mentioned.
Yes! First of all, you must know that they will do a background check on you. You will be subjected to endless questions, psychological testing,etc. Once that is done, if you are chosen, you have to sign a waiver releasing the company from any responsibility if you get hurt, or suffer from other types of physical or emotional distress. You will have to sign a confidentially contract, meaning you are strictly forbidden to discuss the show with anyone. In fact, some reality shows keep the cast together until all the taping is done. Think of it like being sequestered as a juror.
There are many ways to get on a show, but it’s difficult. Some shows offer on-line applications that you submit electronically. Some use casting calls only. These are done in most major cities. Google can tell you where they are. Casting producers look for people who are interesting. They may find you if you write a creative blog or website. Most of all, be honest. If you are asked a question, don’t lie or be fake. Application reviewers and casting call directors know through experience if someone isn’t being “real.”
Simple-money. Networks are all about low risk and high return. They want a show that will attract their audience and attract advertisers. They are in the business to invest and make money. It’s just business.
For many reasons. I think people in general are curious. How do others live? Survive? How do they handle conflict or volatile issues? Others watch as a way to see into the life of an interesting person. A good example is Keeping Up With The Kardashians. They are rich, well known, and it offers the audience a glimpse into a different lifestyle.
Easy: because that is what people want to see. Nobody wants to view a boring show. If they can show an antagonist/protagonist struggle, the audience is more captivated. It also allows one to see conflict resolution (or not).
It must have compelling and interesting people on the show. These people should be likable. It’s better to have a “villain” because it makes the interactions much more interesting between the characters. You have to have people who have a story to share. Something that contributes to the story.