Reality TV shows like Survivor, The Bachelor, Big Brother, and the like seem to be all-the-rage right now. So much so, that next year will see the creation of Reality Central, a cable channel dedicated to those types of shows. Personally, I expect it to fail pretty spectacularly, as I believe that this is just a fad, and people are going to start getting sick of these shows and fall back to the tried-and-true sitcoms and fictional dramas.
However, it does bring to mind a prediction that I made years ago, back when shows like Cops and America’s Most Wanted were the television soup du jour. My prediction was that we would eventually have a “Crime TV” network. With Crime TV, businesses would syndicate video feeds from their security cameras. Home viewers would watch for suspicious behavior, and win prizes for helping the stores nab shoplifters. Sponsorship of these feeds would make it feasible for malls and department stores to downsize some of their security personel, and possibly even turn security into a profit center.
Okay, so it’s not all that likely to happen in…um…reality. Crime TV would be a legal nightmare. Broadcasting surveillance video for profit without the permission of those being monitored and people trying to scam the system by making false accusations are just the first two things that come to mind. But doesn’t it sound just feasible enough? Doesn’t it sound like it’s just this side of the science fiction in The Running Man?