Reality TV Shows

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About Reality

Reality TV arose as a named genre of programming in the 1990s with the introduction of a number of series that featured the unscripted interactions of ordinary people, as opposed to actors or celebrities. Early reality series were a unique form, but the genre has expanded to include shows that infuse other genres-game shows, documentaries, etc.-with unscripted elements.

The earliest reality series were ground-breaking in that they stepped outside the conventions of traditional programming in an attempt to focus on the real lives of their characters. MTV's The Real World, arguably the first modern American reality series, featured a group of non-actor young people living together in a house; the group's daily activities were filmed via cameras scattered throughout the house, and there was no script or plan for how the events in the house would play out.

Very quickly, aspects of reality TV were adopted into other types of shows. Survivor merged reality TV with the game-show genre; participants in the show were engaged in a competition, but their interactions were filmed and presented in manner that emphasized the unscripted drama between them. This hybrid reality-game show became a very popular subgenre, and it eventually encompassed a wide range of competitions, including those involving music, dance, cooking and weight loss.

The reality formula eventually evolved to include unscripted shows that claimed to present the every-day lives of celebrities. Other reality series followed the professional-and, to a certain degree, personal-lives of ordinary people such as police officers, fishermen or others in hazardous occupations. The reality genre also sometimes connects itself with fiction genres, as in paranormal-investigation series, where real-life investigators go about their business and the show attempts to use their activities to generate suspense.

About This Genre
The Bachelor
The Bachelor
The Voice
The Voice
Love & Hip Hop
Love & Hip Hop
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Gold Rush: Alaska
Gold Rush: Alaska
American Idol
American Idol
The Real World
The Real World
America's Next Top Model
America's Next Top Model
Celebrity Apprentice
Celebrity Apprentice
Shark Tank
Shark Tank
Mob Wives
Mob Wives
The Bad Girls Club
The Bad Girls Club
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Party Down South
Party Down South
Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory
Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory
19 Kids and Counting
19 Kids and Counting
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta
Sister Wives
Sister Wives
My Super Sweet 16
My Super Sweet 16
Survivor
Survivor
Face Off
Face Off
True Life
True Life
Black Ink Crew
Black Ink Crew
Rehab Addict
Rehab Addict
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
The Real World/Road Rules Challenge
The Real World/Road Rules Challenge
The First 48
The First 48
Geordie Shore
Geordie Shore
16 and Pregnant
16 and Pregnant
Teen Mom 2
Teen Mom 2
Intervention
Intervention
Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach
RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race
Duck Dynasty
Duck Dynasty
The Bachelorette
The Bachelorette
Jersey Shore
Jersey Shore
Alaskan Bush People
Alaskan Bush People
Chrisley Knows Best
Chrisley Knows Best
MythBusters
MythBusters
Preachers' Daughters
Preachers' Daughters
Married at First Sight
Married at First Sight
Project Runway All-Stars
Project Runway All-Stars
The Amazing Race
The Amazing Race
Friday Night Tykes
Friday Night Tykes
Project Runway
Project Runway
Ghost Adventures
Ghost Adventures
I Love New York
I Love New York
Cops
Cops
The Challenge: Battle of the Exes 2
The Challenge: Battle of the Exes 2
Girl Code
Girl Code
Impractical Jokers
Impractical Jokers
Lizard Lick Towing
Lizard Lick Towing
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle
T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle
Snooki & JWOWW
Snooki & JWOWW
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
30 For 30
30 For 30
Cheaters
Cheaters
Are You The One?
Are You The One?
Dual Survival
Dual Survival
Redneck Island
Redneck Island
Chopped
Chopped
American Pickers
American Pickers
Flavor of Love
Flavor of Love
Real Chance of Love
Real Chance of Love
Party Down South 2
Party Down South 2
The Profit
The Profit
Jerseylicious
Jerseylicious
Rob & Big
Rob & Big
Antiques Roadshow
Antiques Roadshow
Basketball Wives
Basketball Wives
Top Shot
Top Shot
Mountain Men
Mountain Men
Fixer Upper
Fixer Upper
King of the Nerds
King of the Nerds
Shipping Wars
Shipping Wars
Ridiculousness
Ridiculousness
Ice Road Truckers
Ice Road Truckers
Storage Wars
Storage Wars
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
The Incredible Dr. Pol
The Incredible Dr. Pol
Rock of Love
Rock of Love
Big Brother
Big Brother
Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars
Jay Leno's Garage
Jay Leno's Garage
Swamp People
Swamp People
Bar Rescue
Bar Rescue
Toddlers and Tiaras
Toddlers and Tiaras
Total Divas
Total Divas
The Little Couple
The Little Couple
Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge
Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge
The Hills
The Hills
Cold Justice
Cold Justice
The Biggest Loser
The Biggest Loser
Hoarders
Hoarders
The Real L Word
The Real L Word
The Pioneer Woman
The Pioneer Woman
Top Chef
Top Chef
Pit Bulls and Parolees
Pit Bulls and Parolees