Every year there seems to be more and more progressive competition shows on TV and year by year they are claiming a larger market share. Networks dare to pit their 'big money makers' against such huge favorites as American Idol or Dancing With the Stars but generally use their 'filler' material during those time slots. The themes for this genre widely differ, but the concept is the same. Game shows have different contestants every week. What I call the 'voyeur' shows like "Hoarders" has you looking in on some person or family in crisis and how they solve it within a single episode. But the reality competitions introduces you to an interesting or unusually talented cast of characters who compete for the season. Over several weeks, you have time to become acquanted with (and attached to) the participants. Each week one or more or judged off or voted off by the television audience. In "Survivor" the contestants themselves boot somebody out each week. In "The Bachelor" the 'star' the women are competing for rejects one each week. Just some of these shows off the top of my head, all with impressive ratings: American Idol Dancing with the Stars So You Think You Can Dance America's Got Talent Hell's Kitchen Survivor The Apprentice Biggest Loser Master Chef The Bachelor/Bachelorette Project Runway America's Next Top Model Last Comic Standing I'm sure there are others I'm not thinking of right now. I know some folks simply can't stand this kind of programming and don't believe any of it is real. And of course it all is staged for the television audience so what we see isn't the way it actually is. Yet many of the contestants have testified that it in fact what they were experiencing is real. And I'll admit to enjoying the competition, choosing and pulling for my favorites, and preferring these to sitcoms and dramatic programs that just don't seem to be as good as they used to be. And I wonder why? What is the fascination that pulls so many folks into watching this kind of program?