The discovery of two murder victims in an upscale Southern California home 20 years ago on Thursday — and the on-air celebrity true-crime saga that followed — launched a broadcast era that, for better or worse, is far from over, Newsmax media analyst Jeff Grimshaw said on Newsmax TV.
"Actuality TV," in the words of media critic and broadcast news industry veteran Grimshaw, got its start with the televised police chase and epic murder trial of former NFL star O.J. Simpson, Grimshaw told "Midpoint" host Ed Berliner.
News reported with the relish of gossip, actuality TV arose from a public fascination that turned the Simpson drama into a veritable soap opera with a real-life Los Angeles courtroom as its primary set.
News executives took notice.
"I think people saw CNN at that time as this kind of unattainable plateau of news," said Grimshaw. "And suddenly, because of the attention this was drawing, both the investigation and the ensuing trial, executives at Fox and at NBC said 'There's gold in them thar hills, and there's news gold.' "
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Today, it's multiple channels spooling live feeds of celebrities in trouble or troublemakers turned into celebrities by news coverage.
As Grimshaw noted, we even have legacy members of the actuality TV genre. Consider the late Simpson defense attorney Robert Kardashian.
"He has a daughter you may have heard of," said Grimshaw.
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