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
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation
Love Island
Love Island
Teen Mom 2
Teen Mom 2
The Bachelorette
The Bachelorette
RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race
Basketball Wives
Basketball Wives
Bad Girls Club
Bad Girls Club
Love & Hip Hop
Love & Hip Hop
90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?
90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?
Ex On The Beach
Ex On The Beach
Teen Mom
Teen Mom
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Black Ink Crew: Chicago
Black Ink Crew: Chicago
Southern Charm
Southern Charm
Chrisley Knows Best
Chrisley Knows Best
Ghost Adventures
Ghost Adventures
90 Day Fiance
90 Day Fiance
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Shaunie's Home Court
Shaunie's Home Court
America's Got Talent
America's Got Talent
Little People, Big World
Little People, Big World
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
The Real L Word
The Real L Word
Below Deck Mediterranean
Below Deck Mediterranean
Are You The One?
Are You The One?
Mama June: From Not to Hot
Mama June: From Not to Hot
Paranormal Lockdown
Paranormal Lockdown
Total Bellas
Total Bellas
Mountain Monsters
Mountain Monsters
Black Ink Crew
Black Ink Crew
The Bachelor
The Bachelor
Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant
Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant
The Challenge
The Challenge
Naked and Afraid
Naked and Afraid
Jersey Shore
Jersey Shore
Geordie Shore
Geordie Shore
American Chopper
American Chopper
Basketball Wives: LA
Basketball Wives: LA
Teyana & Iman
Teyana & Iman
Botched
Botched
1000 Ways to Die
1000 Ways to Die
Deadliest Catch
Deadliest Catch
So You Think You Can Dance
So You Think You Can Dance
Ink Master
Ink Master
The Dead Files
The Dead Files
Intervention
Intervention
Naked and Afraid XL
Naked and Afraid XL
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Impractical Jokers
Impractical Jokers
Bar Rescue
Bar Rescue
The Voice
The Voice
America's Next Top Model
America's Next Top Model
The Real Housewives of New York City
The Real Housewives of New York City
Bringing Up Bates
Bringing Up Bates
South Beach Tow
South Beach Tow
Growing Up Hip Hop
Growing Up Hip Hop
The Four: Battle for Stardom
The Four: Battle for Stardom
The Real World
The Real World
Party Down South
Party Down South
Long Island Medium
Long Island Medium
Below Deck
Below Deck
Alone
Alone
Braxton Family Values
Braxton Family Values
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
The Next Step
The Next Step
Who Do You Think You Are?
Who Do You Think You Are?
Million Dollar Listing New York
Million Dollar Listing New York
Dating Naked
Dating Naked
Cathouse: The Series
Cathouse: The Series
30 For 30
30 For 30
Bridezillas
Bridezillas
Hardcore Pawn
Hardcore Pawn
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach
Big Brother
Big Brother
World of Dance
World of Dance
Lizard Lick Towing
Lizard Lick Towing
Face Off
Face Off
Don't Be Tardy
Don't Be Tardy
A Haunting
A Haunting
True Life
True Life
Live PD
Live PD
Shark Tank
Shark Tank
Fixer Upper
Fixer Upper
College Hill
College Hill
Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta
Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta
The Profit
The Profit
American Ninja Warrior
American Ninja Warrior
Toddlers and Tiaras
Toddlers and Tiaras
16 and Pregnant
16 and Pregnant
The Real Housewives of Potomac
The Real Housewives of Potomac
Tanked
Tanked
Ghost Hunters
Ghost Hunters
Alaskan Bush People
Alaskan Bush People
Finding Bigfoot
Finding Bigfoot
Floribama Shore
Floribama Shore
Gypsy Sisters
Gypsy Sisters
Wheeler Dealers
Wheeler Dealers
T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle
T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle