Reality TV genre

Watching Tabitha's Salon Takeover, I kept think of Rick Altman's genre syntax/semantics model, since the show has the semantics of a interior-design makeover show (any of the HGTV programming, but even more Restaurant Makeover) but the syntax of Supernanny. I don't claim it's necessarily the first such combination (I never watched Kitchen Nightmares, which clearly is in the mix), but the syntax/semantic combination does distinguish the show from other Bravo shows which otherwise seem comparable stylistically.

Which makes me wonder what scholarship has addressed the genres of American reality TV. I know there's a tendency in popular discourse to treat it as one genre, but either a format might be a better way of conceiving of it or else if it is a genre then the subgenres bring important distinctions. Yes, I know some searching around some databases and a few hours reading can answer my question, but that's a project I'll have to put off for now.


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