Reality TV Shows

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
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
The Voice
The Voice
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars
The Bachelorette
The Bachelorette
Love & Hip Hop
Love & Hip Hop
Top Chef
Top Chef
The Real Housewives of Orange County
The Real Housewives of Orange County
Ridiculousness
Ridiculousness
Intervention
Intervention
Pawn Stars
Pawn Stars
Deadliest Catch
Deadliest Catch
Ice Road Truckers
Ice Road Truckers
The Real Housewives of New York City
The Real Housewives of New York City
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
American Pickers
American Pickers
Jersey Shore
Jersey Shore
Wipeout
Wipeout
Survivor
Survivor
Mob Wives
Mob Wives
Cake Boss
Cake Boss
Hardcore Pawn
Hardcore Pawn
Shark Tank
Shark Tank
Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory
Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory
16 and Pregnant
16 and Pregnant
The Amazing Race
The Amazing Race
The Millionaire Matchmaker
The Millionaire Matchmaker
Storage Wars
Storage Wars
Married at First Sight
Married at First Sight
American Restoration
American Restoration
MythBusters
MythBusters
Restaurant: Impossible
Restaurant: Impossible
Duck Dynasty
Duck Dynasty
Ink Master
Ink Master
Undercover Boss
Undercover Boss
Basketball Wives
Basketball Wives
Snooki & JWOWW
Snooki & JWOWW
Flipping Out
Flipping Out
Impractical Jokers
Impractical Jokers
Face Off
Face Off
Swamp People
Swamp People
Bar Rescue
Bar Rescue
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
The Hills
The Hills
Gene Simmons Family Jewels
Gene Simmons Family Jewels
Naked and Afraid
Naked and Afraid
Project Runway All Stars
Project Runway All Stars
Hoarders
Hoarders
Kitchen Nightmares
Kitchen Nightmares
True Life
True Life
American Idol
American Idol
Party Down South
Party Down South
Black Ink Crew
Black Ink Crew
Teen Mom
Teen Mom
Locked Up Abroad
Locked Up Abroad
Top Gear (US)
Top Gear (US)
The Ultimate Fighter
The Ultimate Fighter
Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach
Top Chef: Masters
Top Chef: Masters
Girl Code
Girl Code
Lizard Lick Towing
Lizard Lick Towing
Deadliest Warrior
Deadliest Warrior
Chopped
Chopped
The Dead Files
The Dead Files
Shahs of Sunset
Shahs of Sunset
Couples Therapy
Couples Therapy
Botched
Botched
The Real Housewives of Miami
The Real Housewives of Miami
30 For 30
30 For 30
Pimp My Ride
Pimp My Ride
Selling New York
Selling New York
The Bad Girls Club
The Bad Girls Club
Total Divas
Total Divas
Double Divas
Double Divas
Sister Wives
Sister Wives
Man vs. Wild
Man vs. Wild
Cajun Pawn Stars
Cajun Pawn Stars
Moonshiners
Moonshiners
My Strange Addiction
My Strange Addiction
Tough Love
Tough Love
Paranormal Witness
Paranormal Witness
Whale Wars
Whale Wars
RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race
Southern Charm
Southern Charm
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Flavor of Love
Flavor of Love
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
19 Kids and Counting
19 Kids and Counting
The Rachel Zoe Project
The Rachel Zoe Project
Storage Hunters
Storage Hunters
Swamp Pawn
Swamp Pawn
An Idiot Abroad
An Idiot Abroad
Man v. Food
Man v. Food
Hollywood Exes
Hollywood Exes
Haunted Collector
Haunted Collector
Cold Justice
Cold Justice
Married to Medicine
Married to Medicine
The Bachelor
The Bachelor