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
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation
Are You The One?
Are You The One?
Black Ink Crew
Black Ink Crew
Teen Mom
Teen Mom
Bad Girls Club
Bad Girls Club
Braxton Family Values
Braxton Family Values
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
The Voice
The Voice
Married to Medicine
Married to Medicine
90 Day Fiance
90 Day Fiance
Love & Hip Hop
Love & Hip Hop
Floribama Shore
Floribama Shore
The Challenge
The Challenge
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors
Ghost Adventures
Ghost Adventures
RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race
90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days
90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days
Ink Master
Ink Master
Impractical Jokers
Impractical Jokers
Outdaughtered
Outdaughtered
Jersey Shore
Jersey Shore
Love Island
Love Island
Step Up: High Water
Step Up: High Water
Teen Mom 2
Teen Mom 2
Basketball Wives
Basketball Wives
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Naked and Afraid
Naked and Afraid
Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars
Counting On
Counting On
Bringing Up Bates
Bringing Up Bates
Shark Tank
Shark Tank
Alaskan Bush People
Alaskan Bush People
90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?
90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?
Black Ink Crew: Chicago
Black Ink Crew: Chicago
Ridiculousness
Ridiculousness
Dr. Pimple Popper
Dr. Pimple Popper
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Paranormal Lockdown
Paranormal Lockdown
30 For 30
30 For 30
Ghost Hunters
Ghost Hunters
Gold Rush
Gold Rush
The Real Housewives of Orange County
The Real Housewives of Orange County
Pit Bulls and Parolees
Pit Bulls and Parolees
Big Brother
Big Brother
Treasure Quest Snake Island
Treasure Quest Snake Island
Below Deck
Below Deck
Married at First Sight
Married at First Sight
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
All or Nothing: Manchester City
All or Nothing: Manchester City
The First 48
The First 48
Mountain Monsters
Mountain Monsters
Mama June: From Not to Hot
Mama June: From Not to Hot
1000 Ways to Die
1000 Ways to Die
Naked and Afraid XL
Naked and Afraid XL
A Haunting
A Haunting
Cold Justice
Cold Justice
16 and Pregnant
16 and Pregnant
Long Island Medium
Long Island Medium
The Dead Files
The Dead Files
Chrisley Knows Best
Chrisley Knows Best
Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant
Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant
Botched
Botched
Below Deck Mediterranean
Below Deck Mediterranean
The Incredible Dr. Pol
The Incredible Dr. Pol
Deadliest Warrior
Deadliest Warrior
The Bachelorette
The Bachelorette
The People's Court
The People's Court
Fixer Upper
Fixer Upper
Bar Rescue
Bar Rescue
America's Next Top Model
America's Next Top Model
The Little Couple
The Little Couple
The Real World
The Real World
Flipping Out
Flipping Out
Live PD
Live PD
Property Brothers
Property Brothers
The Next Step
The Next Step
Geordie Shore
Geordie Shore
Dog The Bounty Hunter
Dog The Bounty Hunter
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars
Don't Be Tardy
Don't Be Tardy
Ex On The Beach
Ex On The Beach
Dating Naked
Dating Naked
Bachelor in Paradise
Bachelor in Paradise
Teyana & Iman
Teyana & Iman
Wheeler Dealers
Wheeler Dealers
The Bachelor
The Bachelor
Growing Up Hip Hop
Growing Up Hip Hop
Very Cavallari
Very Cavallari
Shahs of Sunset
Shahs of Sunset
Deadly Women
Deadly Women
Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach
Intervention
Intervention
The Jeff Dunham Show
The Jeff Dunham Show
Face Off
Face Off
Life of Kylie
Life of Kylie
Homicide Hunter
Homicide Hunter
Mountain Men
Mountain Men
60 Days In
60 Days In