Reality TV Shows

Reality TV shows arose as a named genre of programming in the 1990s. Networks introduced 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.

Eventually, almost every network made us watch reality shows.

The earliest reality series were ground-breaking in that they attempted to focus on the real lives of their characters. MTV's The Real World was arguably the first modern American reality series. It featured a group of non-actor young people living together in a house. The group's daily activities played out via cameras scattered throughout the house. There was no script or plan for how the events in the house would play out.

Very quickly, aspects of reality TV crept into other types of shows. Survivor merged reality TV with the game-show genre. Participants in the show engaged in a competition. 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. 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. In paranormal-investigation series, for example, real-life investigators go about their business and the show attempts to use their activities to generate suspense.

Love Island
Love Island
Floribama Shore
Floribama Shore
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
The Bachelor
The Bachelor
Love & Hip Hop
Love & Hip Hop
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
The Challenge
The Challenge
90 Day Fiance
90 Day Fiance
Love After Lockup
Love After Lockup
Bad Girls Club
Bad Girls Club
Temptation Island (2019)
Temptation Island (2019)
The Bachelorette
The Bachelorette
Ready to Love
Ready to Love
Ghost Adventures
Ghost Adventures
The First 48
The First 48
Impractical Jokers
Impractical Jokers
Are You The One?
Are You The One?
Ex On The Beach
Ex On The Beach
Married to Medicine
Married to Medicine
RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race
60 Days In
60 Days In
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation
Basketball Wives
Basketball Wives
Live PD
Live PD
The Curse of Oak Island
The Curse of Oak Island
Sister Wives
Sister Wives
Party Down South
Party Down South
The Rap Game
The Rap Game
Love & Hip Hop: Miami
Love & Hip Hop: Miami
Black Ink Crew
Black Ink Crew
Ink Master
Ink Master
Below Deck
Below Deck
The Masked Singer
The Masked Singer
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta
Ridiculousness
Ridiculousness
Growing Up Hip Hop
Growing Up Hip Hop
30 For 30
30 For 30
Kim of Queens
Kim of Queens
The Next Step
The Next Step
Black Ink Crew: Chicago
Black Ink Crew: Chicago
Shark Tank
Shark Tank
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant
Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant
Mountain Monsters
Mountain Monsters
Bachelor in Paradise
Bachelor in Paradise
Alaskan Bush People
Alaskan Bush People
Bar Rescue
Bar Rescue
Gold Rush
Gold Rush
Chrisley Knows Best
Chrisley Knows Best
Love Island: Australia
Love Island: Australia
Undercover Boss
Undercover Boss
The Voice
The Voice
Naked and Afraid
Naked and Afraid
Teen Mom 2
Teen Mom 2
Intervention
Intervention
Teen Mom
Teen Mom
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
1000 Ways to Die
1000 Ways to Die
Step Up: High Water
Step Up: High Water
Geordie Shore
Geordie Shore
Paranormal Caught on Camera
Paranormal Caught on Camera
The Ultimate Fighter
The Ultimate Fighter
Counting On
Counting On
Moonshiners
Moonshiners
The Real Housewives of Orange County
The Real Housewives of Orange County
Jersey Shore
Jersey Shore
Botched
Botched
Very Cavallari
Very Cavallari
Naked News Uncovered
Naked News Uncovered
Mob Wives
Mob Wives
Lizard Lick Towing
Lizard Lick Towing
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars
Temptation Island
Temptation Island
True Life
True Life
Love Island
Love Island
America's Next Top Model
America's Next Top Model
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Outdaughtered
Outdaughtered
Big Brother
Big Brother
The Incredible Dr. Pol
The Incredible Dr. Pol
Bringing Up Bates
Bringing Up Bates
The Real World
The Real World
Pit Bulls and Parolees
Pit Bulls and Parolees
Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory
Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory
Mama June: From Not to Hot
Mama June: From Not to Hot
Married at First Sight
Married at First Sight
Supernanny
Supernanny
Hoarders
Hoarders
90 Day Fiance: The Other Way
90 Day Fiance: The Other Way
Wife Swap
Wife Swap
Little Women: Atlanta
Little Women: Atlanta
Locked Up Abroad
Locked Up Abroad
Naked and Afraid XL
Naked and Afraid XL
The Amazing Race
The Amazing Race
Kitchen Nightmares
Kitchen Nightmares
The Four: Battle for Stardom
The Four: Battle for Stardom
The People's Court
The People's Court
Ghost Hunters
Ghost Hunters
Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars