A brief history of hidden cameras on reality TV

07.23.15 1 year ago

“Candid Camera” debuted 67 years ago this August, and though the show is no longer on the air, it lives on in an avalanche of copycats, having created a winning template that's still used to this day. Producers create scenarios, and hidden cameras capture reactions to those absurd situations from unsuspecting people. Later, the cameras are revealed to the marks, often by revealing the show's title or tagline – though often you can see people thinking something like, I have never heard of that show in my life.

What follows is an overview of the the reality format that keeps finding new life or new lows – on various networks and with various twists. But it all shares the same DNA.

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