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
Life of Kylie
Life of Kylie
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta
Big Brother
Big Brother
The Bachelorette
The Bachelorette
Teen Mom 2
Teen Mom 2
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
Intervention
Intervention
Mountain Monsters
Mountain Monsters
Ghost Hunters
Ghost Hunters
The Amazing Race
The Amazing Race
Love & Hip Hop
Love & Hip Hop
Bad Girls Club
Bad Girls Club
The Hills
The Hills
The Real L Word
The Real L Word
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
The Challenge
The Challenge
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Bringing Up Bates
Bringing Up Bates
The Next Step
The Next Step
America's Next Top Model
America's Next Top Model
Basketball Wives
Say Yes To The Dress
America's Got Talent
So You Think You Can Dance
Ghosts of Shepherdstown
The Haunted
A Haunting
Four In A Bed
Ghost Adventures
Alaskan Bush People
Ex On The Beach
RuPaul's Drag Race
Four Weddings
Braxton Family Values
Finding Bigfoot
Extreme Cheapskates
Pit Bulls and Parolees
My Super Sweet 16
Black Ink Crew: Chicago
Teen Mom
Naked and Afraid
I Almost Got Away with It
First Dates (UK)
Bachelor in Paradise
World of Dance
The Real Housewives of Orange County
Food Network Star
Jersey Shore
90 Day Fiance
The Profit
The Real Housewives of New York City
Married at First Sight
Ghost Asylum
Botched
The Dead Files
Below Deck Mediterranean
Cold Justice
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
30 For 30
American Ninja Warrior
Outdaughtered
Laguna Beach
The Real World
World's Strictest Parents
Made in Chelsea
Rica Famosa Latina
Paranormal Lockdown
Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta
The Bachelor
The Voice
Basketball Wives: LA
Chrisley Knows Best
Shahs of Sunset
Impractical Jokers
Paranormal Witness
Dating Naked
Nuts + Bolts
Friday Night Tykes
Live PD
Ink Master
Counting On
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding
West Coast Customs
Growing Up Hip Hop
Bridezillas
Murder in Paradise
Cathouse: The Series
Chasing Cameron
Dog The Bounty Hunter
T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle
The First 48
Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta
Signed
The Pioneer Woman
WAGS: Miami
Famously Single
MasterChef
The Great British Baking Show
Are You The One?
Below Deck