A new generation of reality TV

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It must be Autumn. Temperatures are dropping but the TV schedule is certainly hotting up. It happens every year as planners realise we’re all set for six months of evening hibernation.

We’ve bid farewell to our old friend Big Bro and there’s now a new reality TV kid in town. Channel 4’s ‘Seven Days’ launches tonight, along with an accompanying ‘Chat Nav’ website. This is where it gets exciting –- the Chat Nav site will collate social media conversations about the show and these will determine the future direction of the show. Sheer brilliance!

As viewers, we get to follow the interwoven lives of Notting Hill’s most colourful characters. Comments from Twitter and Facebook will be fed into the show and users will be encouraged to help the characters make personal, social and work decisions, with the audience’s involvement ranging from yes or no answers to direct advice.

In true reality TV style, the selection of participants is a flamboyant cross-section including a budding rapper, two glamorous models, a single mother, a student and two pet therapists. Everyone has a tale to tell, decisions to make, and the rest…is down to us!!

We get to see more of the people we like and less of those we don’t. Chat Nav will illustrate which of the characters the viewers are engaging with. The site will give the people who generate the most buzz the most coverage. Seven Days looks like it could be a huge TV hit by following a proven programme format, but for the Web 2.0 generation. I love it.

I do, however, have one big problem with Seven Days. What were they thinking when they scheduled it at the same time as Mad Men?!