After being incredibly turned off by "reality" shows that contain no reality at all ("Dangerous Flights" is the most egregious example I've seen lately), I was totally absorbed by Penny Arcade's low-budget reality show offering of Strip Search last year. (The site is slightly misorganized, but you can find stuff if you try).
The show was a dozen web comic artists in competition. The premise of a single artist being funded and supported by Penny Arcade for a year was motivational, and the simple act of appearing in an episode granted even the entrants ousted first an audience for their work. While it was clear the producers provided for the possibility of backstabbing and conflict, they didn't go out of their way to insert any, and in the end the show was all the better for it. I'd actually put PA's Strip Search above 90% of professional, high-budget, high-production-values TV series.
My point being, it's totally possible to structure an interesting show where game dev competition is friendly and rewarding for all, and producers with zero-sum on the brain don't exist. It just hasn't been made yet, apparently.